Williams’ Pastor Maldonado says he is a lot more comfortable this year with the experience he gained last year.
The state-funded Venezuelan had a rocky two years in F1 involving some major controversies, namely with Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
During the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix, he was taken out of the race by Lewis Hamilton during a botched overtake attempt which prompted Maldonado to then swipe into Hamilton’s McLaren during Qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps later that year.
In 2012, Maldonado swiped Sergio Perez’s Sauber during the 3rd practice session ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix and received much criticism for the crash – the damage from which sent the Venezuelan into the barriers shortly afterwards.
However, Maldonado believes his rough seasons were as a result of his poor reputation which did nothing to help his confidence. Now that he has had the chance to focus himself, the experience has stood to better his performance.
“Now I have more experience” Maldonado said. “I showed that I was ready to win when the opportunity was there. Everyone can have a difficult moment.
At the same time, I had a hard time with the stewards, because after I had a couple of incidents, they were maybe looking at me more than the others. But you learn from your mistakes. I’m more experienced and more relaxed now, and I’m looking forward to being away from the stewards…” He added.
He also commented that he had to come to grips with the fact that Williams will not always have a competitive car.
“Maybe I was pushing too much. I did not realise that the car did not have the performance to win all the races. In the past I’ve always been fighting for victories and Formula 1 is completely different. Sometimes you need to be happy with a 10th place.”