Pastor Maldonado was 'really happy' after breaking his points duck in the F1 2011 Belgian Grand Prix, only the third time this season Williams have got a car into the top ten.
Maldonado went into the race under something of a cloud after the collision with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in Q2 the day before. However he put all that controversy to one side, and despite getting a five-place grid penalty, which meant he had to start from 21st on the grid, he came through to finish tenth. A great effort, especially as his front wing was damaged on the opening lap.
The result makes him the first Venezuelan to score an F1 World Championship point since Johnny Cecotto back in 1983.
“I'm really happy to score a point for both myself and for the team. It is a big improvement,” said the 2010 GP2 champion.
“During the race our pace was very consistent so I'm happy for that and I'm also pleased for my country.
“Finally we have some points and it's even better to get them here at such a special track. It was a hard race starting from the back, but I was really pushing every single lap.”
Team-mate Rubens Barrichello in contrast had a more disappointing day in the sister FW33, classified 16th at the finish after a late pit stop for a new front wing. He had been running 13th prior to his additional stop.
“We ended up being more competitive than we thought which is a great thing,” said the Brazilian. “I lost time fighting with [Nico] Rosberg during the in lap for my second pit stop which was unfortunate as it lost me time and points which I think I could have scored.
“I am very happy for Pastor that he has got his first points though. Either of us could have scored today which is very encouraging as the team is making progress.”
“It was a good race into the top ten for Pastor today and well done to him on scoring points,” summarised technical director, Sam Michael.
“Both cars were consistent and strong in the critical sectors of this demanding race track. Pastor and Rubens managed their tyres blistering during the race using Pirelli recommendations. We damaged the front wing on both cars during the race, but our pace was still consistent.”