Pastor Maldonado gave Williams hope of moving forward in 2012 with a tremendous qualifying performance in Australia. The Venezuelan secured eighth on the grid and was only a quarter of a second slower than the two Red Bulls as the FW34 excelled around Albert Park.
Maldonado knows there is a long race ahead but hopes to give Williams another morale boost with a points finish tomorrow.
“It was a great start to the season for the team today. We have shown that we are competitive, and we now need to keep pushing. The car has been improving throughout the weekend, and we need to keep going in that direction. It's now down to our pace and strategy for tomorrow's race.”
Teammate Bruno Senna couldn't reach the same heights as his fellow South American, ending up 14th fastest, but the Williams debutant was still pleased with his afternoon's work.
“It's a bit of a lottery when you go into qualifying without having had a full day of running on Friday, but the car feels good. Pastor qualified in the top 10 which is a really good sign for the team. I wasn't particularly happy with my lap, but it's the first qualifying session of the year. We have 19 more to go, and I am sure with a little more experience, everything will come together. Tomorrow is a different day, so we will see what we can do.”