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F1 Spain 2013: Williams enters 'important phase'
7 May 2013
Pastor Maldonado says Williams is entering a 'very important part of the season' as the Grove-based outfit looks to recover from a difficult start to the 2013 F1 campaign.
The team has failed to score a point ahead of a return to the Catalunya circuit where Maldonado took an unexpected win last year, with a series of upgrades planned to try and improve performance this time around.
Admitting it would be a special experience to return to the scene of his one and only F1 win to date, Maldonado said the team now needed to use the upcoming European races to try and push forwards with the car and react quickly to anything that happens on track.
“It will be very special to return to Barcelona after my win there last season,” the Venezuelan racer said. “Whilst all the drivers know the track very well and we have some good data from testing here earlier in the year, the track changes quite a lot so you still need to familiarise yourself with the conditions during practice and set up the car accordingly. The choice of tyre compound will also be a big factor on how well the teams handle the track conditions as the track can be quite hard on tyres.
“We are now entering a very important part of the season because the next couple of races are quite close to the factory, so there will be more opportunities for us to react to our performance on track and make changes to the car.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas admitted that he too was hopeful that Barcelona could be a turning point for the team.
“Whilst I have never raced at Barcelona in Formula One, I know the track really well as I've raced there in Formula Renault and Formula 3 and I've done a lot of testing with Williams at the circuit,” he said. “The win last year in Barcelona was a big motivational boost for everyone and was a good example of what we can achieve when everything comes together.
“We are working hard to get back to that level and following a good aero test last week at Idiada and a number upgrades coming for this race, hopefully Barcelona can be the start of improved performance for us this year.”