Maldonado says his mission is to put Williams back on top
|By Sam Tremayne||Wednesday, October 17th 2012, 13:37 GMT|
Pastor Maldonado declares returning Williams to the top of the Formula 1 hierarchy the 'mission' he aims to complete before contemplating leaving the team.
The Venezuelan won earlier this year at Barcelona, but then went on an eight-race point-less streak which was only ended at Suzuka.
After claiming that eighth in Japan Maldonado was happy keeping his options open for 2013, saying there was "a chance to go to other teams" but that he was "considering remaining" at Williams.
He says that doubt was simply due to not having agreed a new deal with Williams, and insisted that he not only wants to remain with the Grove-based team but dreams of returning them to their former glories.
"It is my mission to put Williams at the top. Before I leave, I really hope to win the championship with this team," Maldonado said during a media event at Silverstone on Wednesday, when he drove Williams's 1996 challenger, the FW18.
"For sure I'd really like to stay. I've had two wonderful years with the team, [and] I won my first race after just over one year at Barcelona, where we showed we are a great team.
"Apart from the last race, which was really difficult for us, I think we are doing quite well and improving every time, so it looking quite good for the team next year."
Asked why his answers had been less decisive in Japan, Maldonado replied: "I don't want to say I will stay because we don't know 100 per cent. In F1 things can change immediately.
"I don't have the confirmation at the moment, but for sure I'd really like to stay. I really appreciated the team giving me a great responsibility as the No.1 driver in the No.1 car, and I think I did pretty well."
Asked about his struggles to score in the aftermath of his Catalunya victory, Maldonado said he had been caught in a vicious circle of mistakes, reliability woes and stewarding decisions.
"The season has been up and down," he admitted. "I lived a difficult moment, getting everything together - I did a few mistakes, [but] at the same time stewards were quite strong with me and I was also unlucky.
"If you remember Singapore I was going for the podium and we had a car failure, but that happens.
"It was a circle but it has passed. It isn't easy to accept to accept you are doing some mistakes but you need to look forward and just push even harder."
Maldonado attributed the team's lack of performance in Korea to struggling with the specific conditions, and said he was confident the team would react over the last four races.
"It's difficult to say [why Williams has lost ground]," he added. "I'm 100 per cent sure the conditions [in Korea] weren't great for our car. We were not balanced to that track.
"We know where the problems are though. If you look three races ago we were near the top. We are ready to react in order to be competitive in the next races."