Pastor Maldonado has revealed that he would like to build on his Spanish Grand Prix victory and help restore Williams to the role of world champion in the future.
The mercurial Venezuelan, speaking at the press call to announce that he will be partnered by rookie Valtteri Bottas in 2013, admitted that it had been an honour to give the Grove team its first F1 success since Brazil 2004, but added that his long-term goal was the same as any of his rivals.
“My ambition is to win the world championship and I'd love to be able to do that with Williams and be alongside some of the greats who have won titles here,” he claimed, channelling a history that includes success for Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, “I feel ready to fight for wins and, after tasting success this year, I want to experience that again as soon as possible.
“As a driver, you always dream of winning an F1 race and to win so early on in my career was very special. We have worked so hard to build a car that can win races and Barcelona proved that we can still compete with the top teams. It was a very popular win throughout the paddock and the atmosphere on the podium will always stay with me.”
Having been brought into F1 by Williams in the wake of his 2009 GP2 Series title, Maldonado will enter his third year in the top flight when he lines up alongside Bottas in Melbourne next March. Like the Finn, he says that he is comfortable in the Grove set-up, and believes that that can help him get more out of himself in 2013.
“It will be a massive benefit because I know how people like to operate and that always helps when it comes to developing the car and giving feedback,” he explained, “In the last two years, we have been learning together as a team, making good progress in the past twelve months and, with another season under my belt, I can help develop the car even more.
“Williams really does feel like a family and I have built up very good relationships with people here, in fact some of my best friends work for Williams. A friendly atmosphere can really help on the track as well because I feel like I can communicate freely with the team. A lot of this comes from [team owner] Frank [Williams], who is a very inspiring man and has provided me with a lot of advice.
“Frank has had some of the best drivers in the history of F1 drive for him and he has experienced everything in the sport. To have someone like that as your boss is a big boost for everyone. He demands a lot from his drivers, but he has helped me a lot since I started. I want to win as much for him as for myself to pay back the faith he has shown in me.”
Having partnered Rubens Barrichello in 2011 and Bruno Senna this season, Maldonado will be on to his third team-mate in as many years when the 2013 campaign gets underway, but he believes that Bottas can contribute to a strong Williams performance.
“As a rookie, he will have a lot to learn but, from what I have seen so far, he has a lot of talent,” he said of the Finn, “It's in the team's interest for both of us to be scoring points from the very first race, so I can provide advice to him as someone who has two seasons under my belt.”