Date: 13th February 2013 at 8:19am
Written by:

Despite Williams missing the first winter test of 2013 in Jerez with their new Williams FW35, Maldonado is confident going into the new season.

The Venezuelan of course managed to win the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona last season, with Williams taking full advantage of the conditions and the at the time unpredictable Pirelli tyres.

It was Williams first victory since 2004 and it was one of the highlight moments of 2012.

But Maldonado failed to build on the momentum that the victory could have brought, failing to score a single point over the next nine races and only finishing in the points a further three times [Finishing in the points 5 times in 20 races].

Then team-mate Bruno Senna proved much more consistent, finishing in the points 10 times, although that wasn’t enough to keep his seat for next season and he will be replaced by Finn Valtteri Bottas, who has previous experience with Williams as test driver.

Both drivers will get the chance to test the new 2013 challenger at Barcelona at the upcoming test and Maldonado is confident that Williams will continue to bridge the gap between themselves and the top teams on the grid.

‘I think we are quite close to the [other] teams and we showed that last year. We are quite close to the top teams, Maldonado told Sky Sports.

‘It’s always difficult to predict every year – you never know what the others are doing – but if we compare what we did last year and what we are doing for the next season, we have great potential and we feel confident with the package.

‘And that is very important to feel confident with yourself and with the team with what you have to start the season. I know it’s going to be very difficult because the competition is very tight, the driver level is very high as well, so it’s going to be one more great season I hope.’