Pastor Maldonado was very positive after his first run in the Williams FW35 yesterday.
Maldonado described the car as being “completely different” to last year’s FW34. “This car seems to be more easy to drive, but easy doesn’t mean quick.”
“So we need to wait a little bit, we need more time to get at the bottom of the car. But the car seems to be very good.”
“Normally when the car is easy we try to make the car difficult,” he added. “Still we need to work on it.”
“There is a good feeling, but it is difficult to compare to last year’s one. Last year a couple of times the car was difficult to drive but at the same time was very quick. It’s completely different, the feeling. It looks like another car.
“For me I need to get used to this car as well, I need to have more confidence. I need to say that after two laps I was already trying to look where the limit was and was quite good: on braking, on traction, in the middle of the corner, quick corners, slow corners, it’s positive. This day is positive for us.”
Maldonado described the FW35 as “the best car I’ve had, especially in the first test, for the previous years.”
Williams is the only team that did not introduce their new car at the first test and Maldonado agrees they have a lot of work to do:
“There is improvement, a big one, for sure. It’s a step forward, I guarantee that. We need to work really hard on the car still.
“It’s quite young, the car. We didn’t try any different set-ups or different things in the car. We need to understand better tyres, to make work the tyres with this car. It’s still a long way to work but we are ready to improve and we are quite happy.”
Maldonado completed 86 laps in the car on its first day and ended up with the fifth-fastest time. He said the first day of running confirmed their expectations of the car: “We expected to have a quick car from the beginning because we see the correlation in the simulator between Jerez, old car, and new car.
“And we saw immediately in the simulator a good step forward and I confirm it here in Barcelona. It’s always difficult because you cannot simulate the track conditions, it’s always difficult.”
“I think it’s a very good start point for us,” he concluded. “Better than the previous two years but still it’s too early to say something about the performance and reliability, you know, we need mileage.”
“I think I’m going to enjoy with this car, in the season, we can do something good.”
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