Maldonado says he’s “adapted well” to FW33

2011 F1 testing

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Valencia, 2011

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Valencia, 2011

Pastor Maldonado drove the car he will start his maiden F1 race in for the first time today.

He was only able to do 29 laps in the FW33 after Rubens Barrichello’s morning stint was extended due to technical problems.

But Maldonado says the time has given him a good starting point for his first full day behind the wheel tomorrow:

The feeling was really good. I adapted myself very well to the new car. I think especially for the first laps the car was really great.

For sure we need to keep working to adapt the car more to my racing style and maybe to adapt myself to the car too. We’ll see. We didn’t run a long time so we’ll see tomorrow.
Pastor Maldonado

The team have a big job list for their last run with the car in Valencia. Maldonado explained the plan for tomorrow:

To learn about the car, complete all the plans with it and try many, many different things in the car just to see what we have in our hands, and develop the car and adapt it to my racing style, and adapt myself to the car and to the team.

The biggest difference between GP2 and Formula 1 is the people around you. You have many people working and doing many things in the team. That’s one of the big differences between GP2 and Formula 1, I need a little bit more time just to adapt myself and to improve.

But I think tomorrow is going to be a little bit more easy because I know the car and we’re not starting from zero.
Pastor Maldonado

The GP2 champion explained the key differences he’d discovered in stepping up a level to F1:

It’s a big difference, especially because of the downforce difference, and more this year because we have not got the Bridgestones.

I think I have to understand a bit more the systems of the car and even to adapt myself to use everything, to gain all I can gain during the laps.

We will do some long runs to understand the car every way. We are ready to develop in the pre-season so many different things, we start now to do that.
Pastor Maldonado

Maldonado added that he has a lot to learn from his highly experienced team mate:

It’s great to have Rubens as a team mate, he’s a really good guy. It especially is a pleasure to me to have him, you know, he’s the most experienced driver, for sure, that could help me a lot, especially at the beginning of the season.

His experience can make the difference, I just only need to learn and to understand the car and the team.
Pastor Maldonado

He played down concerns over the limited amount of testing time between now and the start of the season and stated his goals for his first season:

To learn. To be really quick. Let’s see what I can do, do my best, always, and learn race by race.
Pastor Maldonado

2011 F1 testing

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14 comments on Maldonado says he’s “adapted well” to FW33

  1. US Williams Fan said on 2nd February 2011, 23:04

    Here’s to hoping he will adapt to Formula One racing quickly!

    It will be good to see him with a full day’s practice tomorrow.

  2. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 2nd February 2011, 23:50

    Will Buxton tweeted something about Barrichello not being able to hide his disappointment with the car. It was only him who has mentioned this so far – are there any other sources about this?

    I (rather desperately) want Williams to get back to their winning ways

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd February 2011, 23:56

    I do love it when rookies come into the sport. They can be so naive that it’s cute. Some of the pictures I’ve seen of Barrichello show that he’s disappointed with the FW33 (or at least has mixed emotions about it), but Maldonado is like a kid at Christmas. They could give him a dog of a car and he’d still be over the moon because he doesn’t know what it’s like to drive a real rocket.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd February 2011, 10:04

      The last running he did was in the HRT in Abu Dhabi, so comparing to that, this must certainly be a giant leap forward.

      I do think Williams might have a nice concept with some potential, but from Rubens emotions it certainly is no BGP001!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd February 2011, 14:48

      I find it strange to figure out this team is the one that up to14 years ago was winning titles. I feel sad for them and want them to be competitive.

  4. Dan Selby said on 3rd February 2011, 9:40

    What a shame if Rubens is disappointed with the car…

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was a little pessimistic when Williams told us they were going for an ‘aggressive’ design. I guess it’s not so aggressive when everyone else produces something not too disimilar!

    • Skett said on 3rd February 2011, 12:57

      Why do people keep saying that? The rear end is the most aggressive on the grid!

      From what I could tell he was unhappy because the car was unbalanced, something that can be sorted.

  5. GaryF1 said on 3rd February 2011, 18:19

    Car looks very interesting…

    Maybe we’ll see Williams back where they belong?

  6. The New Pope said on 3rd February 2011, 21:22

    I don’t see Williams taking a step forward this year. I think Sauber will catch them and Mercedes and Renault will leave them in the dust. I think they will be hanging around with Force India and STR at the end of the points-paying race positions. I like Rubens, but he is in the twilight of his career and they have a rookie in the other cockpit who is, at best, no better than Hulkenburg last year. If I had to guess, I don’t think he will be better either.

  7. Palle said on 4th February 2011, 10:27

    It seems to me that Williams is still resembling a family-driven business, and this type of organisation has been overtaken by development in many terms. Williams is still on a slow, but steady decline and they can’t come out of it before Frank retires. The only thing that has saved them from ending up at the back of the grid is the cost saving rules, which have pulled the bigger teams budgets down closer to Williams.
    But some teams have to be at the midfield…

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