Pastor Maldonado was encouraged by the performance of Williams during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, even if he did just miss out on points.
Maldonado qualified 14th – his best effort since the Italian GP back in September – but felt that a slow second pit stop ultimately prevented him from adding to the point he scored in Hungary.
The Venezuelan, who has been linked to the Lotus team for 2014
, eventually finished in 11th place, just 2.7 seconds behind Adrian Sutil at the flag.
“Today was a very tough race from the perspective of trying to manage the tyres, but we managed to cope with it pretty well. I certainly feel that the pace and consistency of the car has improved with the new aero package we ran this weekend and I could feel that the car was improving as the race went on,” he stated.
“Unfortunately I came out in to traffic after my second pitstop which meant that I couldn't really show the improved pace we had, and in the end I had to settle for a finish just outside the points. Overall the weekend has seen some positive steps forward which will give us a boost for the next race.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas meanwhile was similarly encouraged - even if he did finish four places further back, his race adversely affected after electing to start on the medium compound tyres.
“I don't think P15 was really reflective of the pace we had today,” insisted the Finn. “My race was compromised by the first lap when I was jumped by the Caterhams who started on the option tyres and so had more grip and were able to overtake me.
"After the prime tyres started to work my race pace was very good and I was able to fight hard with the cars around me.”
“The positive from this weekend is that the car is feeling better and we have definitely made some gains which is promising for the final two races,” he concluded.