Pastor Maldonado is a “great fighter” and is “sometimes underestimated” according to former Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar.
Pujolar was Maldonado's race engineer when he first joined Williams, eventually moving up to become chief race engineer before joining Toro Rosso at the end of 2013. Maldonado himself left Williams to join Lotus over the winter – with the decision seemingly based on financial considerations – but Pujolar believes Maldonado does not get the credit he deserves.
"I have always said that I have been impressed the most by Pastor and [Juan Pablo] Montoya," Pujolar told El Confidencial
. "Maybe that's because they are such great fighters. But Pastor has shown that he is fast and I think he is sometimes underestimated."
Pujolar added that one he forms a strong relationship then Maldonado's feedback to the team is always high quality.
"I have worked with top drivers like Mark Webber or Ralf Schumacher... but for me it was not the same with them.
“[Maldonado] got a good relationship with the team when it was stable. He was well understood when he came back from the track and began to talk about the car. I immediately saw his reaction and knew what was going on with the car. After looking at the data it was clear, 'yes this is it'."