Mark Gillan, chief operations engineer at Williams, has said he is delighted with the team's performance through the opening two tests of the 2012 F1 season.

The team endured the worst season in its history last year, managing just five points all year with the result that the technical team underwent a radical overhaul mid-season.

So far, the new FW34 has performed solidly during testing at Jerez and Catalunya, with Pastor Maldonado even managing to lead the way in Barcelona on Thursday.

Although the team will no doubt be aware that the results of testing count for little - given the FW33 also set the pace at times in pre-season last year - Gillan said the start of running with the new car had been 'excellent' with Williams now having a good benchmark on which to build.

"We've had a really productive day's testing to end an excellent couple of weeks," he said when the test drew to a close on Friday. "Today Pastor went through a competitive race simulation and both the car and he performed very well, ending the day with some long run comparisons.

"We have gathered a prodigious amount of data over more than 3500kms of testing and we will now regroup back at the factory to understand how to further improve the set-up and development direction ahead of the next Barcelona test."

Maldonado, who drove for the final two days after taking over from Bruno Senna and test driver Valtteri Bottas, was also pleased with the performance of the car.

"It has been a positive test for the team," he said. "We've had no problems with the car, getting in some good mileage across all four days. We now have a great deal of data to analyse so we will keep pushing to improve our car for the next test. I am looking forward to coming back next week for the final test, and getting back to racing very soon."

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