Pastor Maldonado says he hopes to enjoy a 'better weekend' as F1 heads to Monte Carlo this weekend for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Venezuelan has yet to score in 2013 following a tough start to the season for Williams but has a strong record at Monaco in the past while competing in GP2.
With the team bringing more upgrades for the FW35 as it looks to score for the first time this season, Maldonado said he was hoping for a step forwards in performance to enable him to challenge for a place in the top ten.
“I have always been very competitive at Monaco, doing well there in GP2, so I always look forward to this race as I feel very comfortable driving the circuit,” he said. “You can also feel the history of Formula One as you drive through the streets and tackle some of the really famous corners. Monaco is a very difficult challenge, both mentally and physically, as you have to try and find the limits of the car with no margin for error if you push too hard.
“Qualifying will be very important at this race and is probably 70% of the weekend because overtaking is so difficult and risky. Tyre strategy and tyre management is important as you always use the softer compound of tyres in Monaco and they are very sensitive this year. We are working hard at the factory to see where we can make improvements and hopefully we can continue improving the set-up of the FW35 and have a better result this weekend.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas meanwhile will be making his Monaco debut and he said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“This will be my first time racing in Monaco and I'm really looking forward to it because it's such an iconic track,” he said. “It's definitely the most challenging race on the calendar for the drivers, being an old school street circuit with no room for mistakes and I'm looking forward to the challenge of being on the limit at all times while being so close to the walls.”
Technical director Mike Coughlan added that the team would work hard to give Bottas the maximum amount of track time to aid him on his debut.
“As it is a street circuit the grip levels change the whole weekend so it's important to give the drivers as much time on-track as possible in order for them to gain confidence, particularly for Valtteri who has never driven here before,” he said. “We made some small steps forward in Barcelona but it was still a difficult weekend for us.
“We have a number of upgrades for Monaco designed for the unique layout. We need to keep working hard though as it's not been the start to the year we had hoped for. As a team, we are still focussed on getting the performance out of the FW35.”