Maldonado not feeling pressure ahead of F1 debut

2011 F1 season

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Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2011
Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2011

Pastor Maldonado says he’s not feeling any pressure ahead of his F1 debut with Williams later this month.

Williams issued a Q&A with their driver in which he said “I am going to try to treat it like any other race.

“My objective is to finish the race, if everything goes well, I don?t see why we can?t score points as well.”

Here’s what Maldonado had to say in full:

Q: How did your first test day go in Barcelona this week?
Pastor Maldonado: We had a KERS problem which unfortunately cost a few hours? track time and we only did two short runs. It is better for the problems to come out now though than on a race weekend; that is what testing is for. We have a new aero package here as well, with more upgrades to come in Australia, so I am keen to get back in the car to try them out.

Q: How are you finding the step up to Formula One? Do you think you are making good progress?
PM: I am feeling better and better within the team and I am enjoying working to adapt the car to my driving style. It is really good.

Q: How is your fitness coming along?
PM: You can always improve your fitness if you keep training. I do lots of running and have also improved what I eat so I?m a bit lighter than I was which is good for the team. I am hoping being very light will help me this season!

Q: How does it feel to jump into a brand new car as opposed to the FW32, as you did in Abu Dhabi, which had a whole year of development behind it?
PM: Starting from zero is a bit different. Last year I just had to focus on myself and on improving lap by lap. Now we need to keep working together to develop the car as well, so there will be more of a job to do. The feeling in the team and with my engineers is good. I know it will be a really great season with them.

Q: Do you feel there is a lot of pressure and expectation on you?
PM: No, I don?t have this kind of pressure. I do my best to understand everything, and to do the best job I can for the team. Our aim is to get the most out of the FW33. We will see what we can do at the first race but I feel ready.

I am very happy for my country as they are pushing very hard for me and that is something special. I am here to do my job as well as I can and once I am in the car that is my only focus.

Q: How do you feel heading into your first Formula One race?
PM: It is going to be an exciting moment for me. I have been racing for many years and I have waited many years to be in Formula One so sitting on the grid in Melbourne is going to be great.

I am going to try to treat it like any other race though. My objective is to finish the race, if everything goes well, I don?t see why we can?t score points as well.

Q: What is your objective for the 2011 season?
PM: To learn, be really quick, do my best for the team and improve race-by-race.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Maldonado not feeling pressure ahead of F1 debut”

  1. there is pressure on him & the team to show that he can be as fast as Hulk if not faster… if he does another petrov then williams are in big trouble.

    1. though hulk had practically no personal backing.. Maldonado has all of Venezuela + PDVSA. He has to be fast, for sure.. but at least he has a small cushion of a major personal sponsorship

    2. There’s no way for him to prove that.

    3. UKfanatic (@)
      11th March 2011, 15:31

      You are right with the Hulk argument but I don´t think they will regret to have an “petrov” who knows if maldonado doent develop cause he has the money to stay longer to prove his capabilities.I don´t know we shall see.

  2. He’s there mostly for money not his talent so his performance -or lack of- won’t necessarily do him out of a seat at least early on.

    I have to admit even though he’s won the GP2 title I’m not expecting much from Pastor but hoepfully he can be a nice surprise as it would be great to see Williams do well.

    1. After expecting a lot from Huelkenberg last year, who couldn’t quite live up to “The Hulk” hype, maybe not expecting too much will be good.

      If they made progress with the car (partly due to certainty of funds), Maldonado will end up looking better anyway, most likely. Sad for Hulk, but he did not start the season strongly, even if the car also didn’t start strong.

      If the more mature Maldonado does keep it together from the start, the combination with his money will have made him a very good choice for Williams, I think.

    2. I still rely more on Rubens than Pastor.

  3. Let’s see what and how he does when on track.

  4. You dont win GP2 without talent, surely the championship winner deserves a seat in Formula 1?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. He beat two other drivers who got the call up for F1 this year and Ferrari’s new young gun. While I’m as suspicious as the next man of pay drivers, his results up until now have actually been quite good. I wish him good luck.

      1. He does but it doesn’t mean he’s as good as other GP2 graduates/winners. Pastor had been in GP2 for years before he finally won in a field that had many rookies (including Bianchi) as other big GP2 names had moved up to F1. Kobayashi wasn’t anything stellar in GP2 and he seems to be good in F1 so GP2 performance isn’t everything but I can’t help but feel he hasn’t shown anything particularly spectacular in his career so far.

  5. I think a lot of the pessimism and scepticism around this guy is through bitterness of Hulkenberg being dropped by Williams. I’m an agreement that we don’t know for sure until we see him on track.

  6. I would say you more deserve a test in Formula 1, Rob Wilson. A seat is a different matter. I hope he does well…he’s got alot to live upto after The Hulk.

  7. It’s true he don’t have any pressure for 2011, he don’t have the fear of losing his job if he don’t perform as he have the backing of his sponsor.

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