February 11th, 2013 (F1plus / Jack Leslie).- The Grove based squad finished eighth in the constructors, after some inconsistent and problematic races. The highlight was Maldonado's stunning victory in Spain, but strong results were a rarity after that. However the Venezuelan is feeling confident about this season.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said "I think we are quite close to the [other] teams and we showed that last year. We are quite close to the top teams,"
"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."
Williams had a slight setback, revealing the launch of the FW35 would be at the second test, at the Circuit de Catalunya. The team did participate at Jerez, but with their 2012 chassis. They still gathered useful data on some 2013 parts, especially the updated Pirelli tyres.
They have had some team shake-up's over previous winter breaks, with the time between the 2012 season finale in Brazil and the first test in Jerez being more stable Pastor is optimistic.
He continues, "We have been pushing so hard the last two years and we must concrete our potential. We won one race last year and I hope to continue like that,"
"It's going to be very difficult; the changes in the car are not so big for everybody, the rules are more or less the same, but we've been working so hard and I hope to be more competitive than in the last year. (I have) more experience as well and fingers crossed to have a great season."
Talking about last season, he said "We had a couple of aero problems last year, which is not the case now. We have been pushing so hard on that side to develop the car and now we hope to have a very competitive car - even from the beginning of the season. And I feel ready, ready to do great races."
In the interview with Sky Sports, he then spoke about his rookie teammate Valtteri Bottas. He said, "(I'll have) more responsibility because it's going to be the first year of Valtteri in the car racing, and that will be a bit difficult at the beginning, but Valtteri has a lot of experience with the team and he knows very well how the team works and the style,"
"He's a good guy so I hope as well to have a great season together as a team. Our mission is to put the car in the top (places) as (often as) possible for us."
He was speaking to Ted Kravitz about the season ahead, and it has to be said Pastor looked a lot more controlled in 2012. He still needs to stay out of trouble in the race, and continue his electric qualifying pace.
Meanwhile Pastor told Autosport that the FW35 had passed the final mandatory crash test.