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Maldonado hopes for victory challenge

6 March 2013

Pastor Maldonado says he feels confident that Williams will be able to challenge for victories again during the 2013 F1 season.

The Venezuelan secured his maiden success in 2012 when he took an unexpected victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, seeing off the challenge of Fernando Alonso to give the Grove-based team a first win since the 2004 season finale in Brazil.

It was to the highlight of an ultimately frustrating season for Maldonado however, with just 20 further points being added to his tally in the remaining races as he finished down in 15th place in the championship.

Speaking to ESPN during the final pre-season test of the year at Catalunya, Maldonado admitted he was eager to improve on his results last year, which included fighting for another victory.

The 27-year-old also insisted that it 'wasn't impossible' to suggest he could launch a bid for the title if things were to go his way, although he was quick to admit that it would be far from easy.

"For sure I would like to win, I'm here to win,” he said, “and not only once, I want to win more than once. Why not throughout the season? And why not the championship? It's going to be hard, but not impossible.

"We did a great job here [in Barcelona last year] and I'm sure we can repeat that many times. We are doing our best to do that and I really think the victory in Barcelona opened the door for us to believe in our potential and to push very hard for the future.

"We are fighting with mega teams and maybe we don't have everything to be winning the championships. But I think we are going to win some races and we can be very competitive. I don't know if we can be at a very high level all through the year, but we are doing our best with the tools we have in the factory to do a good car.

"We need to be honest with ourselves that it's going to be very difficult, but at the same time not impossible. We have good tools to be very competitive and this year our car improved a lot and we have good expectations about the car. I feel more experienced in the team and more experienced in Formula One, so I'm fully involved. It's looking quite good, but there is no guarantee that I can give."

Maldonado will be partnered by Valtteri Bottas this season, with the Finn moving up from the role of test and reserve driver to fill the second race seat.


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