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2013-05-07 09:45

MUST TRY HARDER: Williams'driver Pastor Maldonado was on top of his game a year ago in 2012, now he is yet to score any points in the 2013 season. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - In 2012 Pastor Maldonado was on top of the world... he'd just won his first Formula 1 GP.

Now, returning to Barcelona in 2013, Williams is having a major performance slump, and - backmarkers Caterham and Marussia aside - is the only team yet to score a point this season.

Venezuelan Maldonado (28) said: "At the moment we are living hard moments."


However, after the first four 'flyaway' races of the season, the Spanish GP is traditionally the scene of a performance jump for many teams with major upgrade packages added to the cars. Williams - and other under-performing teams such as McLaren and Sauber - have higher hopes that they can make a big step forward.

Force India team boss Bob Fernley is not so sure. "Apart from McLaren, which we know will come back and be as strong as always, there is not much (development potential) left in these cars," he told PA Sport. "We've been pretty stable (with the regulations) for the last few years, so there are no big leaps."

Maldonado agrees that Williams' task is more complicated than simply bolting on some "go faster" bits.

Fernly added: "I think we need some time. The problems we have got are quite big but I hope that, step by step, we're going to get there."


Maldonado's not hiding the obvious pain that Williams' 2012-2013 decline is causing, having cut a noticeably downbeat figure in the paddocks so far in 2013. He admitted: "Sometimes you don't feel very happy but this is racing. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not, and we need to do our best when it's like that to try to improve, to try to survive."

This coming weekend will mark a year since Williams' Barcelona pit fire, and one team member - mechanic Martin 'Barney' Betts - has yet to fully recover from severe burns.

Deputy team boss Claire Williams told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Barney, with the injuries he sustained, has had to have significant time off but it is important that he comes back and is well looked after."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.

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