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Williams 'astonished' by Maldonado

ESPN Staff
May 15, 2012 « McLaren's luck will change - Hamilton | Lotus managing Raikkonen's obligations »
Sir Frank Williams: "We've got a real racing driver" © Sutton Images

Sir Frank Williams admitted that he was "astonished" by Pastor Maldonado's performance during the Spanish Grand Prix.

Maldonado gave Williams its first victory in eight years in Barcelona, converting pole position in to a win despite losing out to Fernando Alonso off the line. It was a hugely impressive display of talent from Maldonado - who had previously been labelled a pay-driver - and although Williams admitted money had got him the seat in the first place he said that he never doubted his racing credentials.

"Yeah, he was to some extent (initially at the team because of money); I'm not denying that," Williams is quoted by Autosport. "But if we thought he'd been a wanker, he wouldn't have got in the team no matter how much money he had. He did a very sensible job in GP2 and he fully deserves to be in the team with or without the dosh. The truth is that if you haven't got the dosh, you can't go Formula 1 racing.

"But we've got a real racing driver as well. I am just astonished by the way he just controlled himself, and didn't make a mistake at all."

With Maldonado taking his maiden victory having been under pressure from home favourite Alonso, Williams said that he was impressed by the fact that he didn't make any mistakes.

"When a driver who has not led before and is out in front, he tends to make a mistake. But from what I saw, he didn't come near it. He was calm on the radio the entire time. Given what we have seen in GP2 and F1 qualifying, he's very skilful

"It's the first race he's led and led and led and, as the race goes on, you become under more pressure to not think about the podium, not think about what your mother's going to say, and not think how much the prize money is going to be. So you think don't crash, don't make mistakes, brake a little bit earlier, and look after it. That's what you've got to do and that's what he did."