Pastor Maldonado says his is fully focused on working his way towards the front of the F1 field after confirmation that he will join Williams for his debut season in 2011.
The Venezuelan GP2 title winner will replace Nico Hulkenberg in the Williams line-up in a deal which has been rumoured for some time, with reports that the 25-year-old will bring much needed finances to the Grove-based team – which saw a number of sponsorship deals come to an end at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
Having stormed to the GP2 crown last year on the back of a season which featured an unprecedented six successive feature race victories, Maldonado insists he is ready to make the move into F1 and said his aim was to fight as far up the field as possible.
“GP2 is a very good championship; it really prepares drivers well for F1,” he said. “I have worked very hard to get to this position and yes, I definitely feel ready.
“I just want to do my best, to be as close to the top as I can and to get the maximum out of the car. The team are working very hard and I need to push to be at the top as soon as possible. I am a rookie but that isn't going to be a problem. I need to keep focussed and to do my job.”
Maldonado will benefit in his debut season from the fact he will be paired with the most experienced driver on the grid, and he said he was looking forward to working alongside Rubens Barrichello throughout 2011.
“For sure Rubens is a pleasure to have as a team-mate as he is a very experienced driver,” he said. “I can learn so much from him. It will be fun as he is South American too! I think it is going to be a very interesting team.”