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Williams backs Maldonado as champion elect

Pastor Maldonado backed as a possible F1 champion by team boss Frank Williams
Sir Frank Williams says Pastor Maldonado has shown the potential to be a Formula One champion after taking his maiden victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Venezuelan driver stormed to the top step of the podium with an impressive drive at Catalunya, where he kept pace with Fernando Alonso before jumping ahead of the Ferrari man during the second round of pitstops.

Even when he came under pressure from the double champion as the race wore on, Maldonado wasn't to be stopped as he gave Williams a first win since 2004 and the team boss said he wasn't surprised to see the 26-year-old show his doubters that he is more than just a pay driver.

"We've got a real racing driver,” he told the Press Association. "I am just astonished by the way he controlled himself, not making a mistake at all. His potential could be very considerable indeed. We'd be sad to lose him, quite aside from any commercial considerations."

Indeed, Williams said he felt Maldonado – a title winner in GP2 back in 2010 – could go all the way and be a champion in F1 as well.

"Undoubtedly, and I'll tell you why,” he replied when asked if Maldonado has the potential to be a champion. “Because he is very quick and he does not make mistakes.

"In his first race with a chance of winning he wasn't flummoxed under pressure, and there was an enormous amount of pressure.

“When a driver who has not led before is out in front he tends to make a mistake. As the race goes on the pressure grows to not think about being on the podium, about what your mother's going to say, how much the prize money is going to be, not to crash, not to make mistakes, brake a little earlier, look after the car.

"But from what I saw he didn't come near to making a mistake. He was calm on the radio the entire time. That's what champions do."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.05.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
13.05.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
13.05.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
13.05.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34 race winner
Rene Dreyfus and Tazio Nuvolari at the 1935 Grand Prix de Pau
Pic credit: Agence de presse Meurisse‏ [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Peter Gethin sat in his BRM at the 1972 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch
Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi - Pic credit: Infiniti
Sebatian Vettel and David Coulthard at the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi - Pic credit: Infiniti
Sebastian Vettel drives the Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi for the first time - Pic credit: Infiniti
24.08.2014- Race, Start of the race
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
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24.08.2014- Race, Celebration, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
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Maldonado drove brilliantly all weekend, I'm super pleased for him and for Williams! However, I don't think he'll ever be champion. This season is hard to read with the tyres being so sensitive. One race Perez looks like a legend. Then it's Rosberg. Now Maldonado. You have to look at their whole careers to get an informed picture (not just their F1 careers). So Frank says Maldonado "is very quick and he does not make mistakes." Really?! In that one race, yes. He has made many mistakes though, last lap of Melbourne is an obvious example. Most damning is the fact he took 4 years in GP2 to win the title. This guy has been around, he's the same age as Hamilton and 2-3 years older than Vettel. BTW, I think he deserves to be in F1 on merit but at the moment, he IS a pay driver. Williams let Hulkenberg go because they needed the money. Hopefully Pastor can keep doing well and won't be a pay driver much longer!

«2PAC» #ByAnyMeansNecessary

May 14, 2012 6:24 PM

irrespective of how he got the seat he has made good use of the equipment provided by the team and showed beyond doubt that he if worthy of a place on the f1 grid by merit. no doubt he is a very talented driver only time will tell if he has the consistency to be a champion in the future.



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