First impressions really good, says Maldonado
Q: You had your first official outing for AT&T Williams yesterday, how did it feel?
PM: Driving the FW33 and getting a feel for the new car was great! My run wasn’t that long, but we are concentrating on learning the car to begin with and I was preparing myself for today’s program.
Q: Did you run KERS and the rear wing flap yesterday?
PM: We didn’t run KERS. On some laps I did use the rear wing flap, but not many. Yesterday’s run was really just to understand the new car and to gather more data.
Q: Are you up to speed on all the new systems in the car so you can concentrate on the test work?
PM: Not yet, but I think it is the same for everybody, and it’s not easy because you are very busy during a lap. I am getting more confident every time I go out though and I feel really ready to do my job.
Q: What did you think of the new Pirelli tires?
PM: The speed feels more or less the same, but they need to be managed differently. I haven’t done much running on new tires yet so I will have a better idea of how they are working today after more track time.
Q: What is the feeling you get sitting in the FW33?
PM: The feeling is really good. We need to adapt some parts of the car’s set-up to better suit my racing style, and maybe I need to adapt as well. We didn’t run for too long yesterday, but we will see how we go today and at the forthcoming tests.
Q: What is the biggest difference between GP2 and Formula One?
PM: There are a few differences but really I have to keep running, and get some long runs in, in order to understand more clearly the different systems in the car. There are so many things to look at during pre-season testing, but we will start to do that now. I also need to get used to the team. I think the biggest difference between GP2 and Formula One is the people working around you, there are a lot more people doing lots of different things.
Q: Has your fitness improved?
PM: You can always improve your fitness if you keep training. I do lots of running and have also improved what I eat so I’m a bit lighter than I was which is good for the team. I am hoping being very light will maybe help me this season!
Q: How does it feel to jump into a brand new car as opposed to the FW32, as you did in Abu Dhabi, which had a whole year of development behind it?
PM: Starting from zero is a bit different. Last year I just had to focus on myself and on improving lap by lap. Now we need to keep working together to develop the car as well, so there will be more of a job to do which will keep us busy. The feeling in the team and with my engineers is good though. I know it will be a really great season with them.
Q: What is your objective for the 2011 season?
PM: To learn, be really quick, do my best for the team and improve race-by-race.
Q: Do you feel the pressure is on you to get up to speed quickly?
PM: No, I don’t have this kind of pressure. I will do my best and understand everything, and to do the maximum for the team.