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MARCH 11, 2011

Maldonado targets points in Melbourne

Despite Williams KERS problems early in the testing week at Barcelona, F1 rookie Pastor Maldonado is getting to grips with life in the sport's top echelon. He took time out to give his thoughts ahead of the Melbourne season opener.

Q: How are you finding the step up to F1? Are you making good progress?

I'm feeling better and better within the team and enjoying working to adapt the FW33 to my driving style.

Q: How is your fitness?

You can always improve 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 help me this season!

Q: How does it feel to jump into the FW33 as opposed to the FW32 in Abu Dhabi, which had a year of development behind it?

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's more of a job to do. The feeling in the team and with my engineers is good. I know it will be a really great season with them.

Q: Do you feel a lot of pressure and expectation?

I don't really have that kind of pressure. I do my best to understand everything and to do the best job I can for the team. Our aim is to get the most out of the FW33. We will see what we can do at the first race but I feel ready. I'm very happy for my country as they are pushing very hard for me and that's something special. But I'm here to do my job as well as I can and that is my only focus.

Q: How do you feel heading into your first F1 race?

It's going to be an exciting moment for me. I've been racing for many years and I have waited to be in F1, so sitting on the grid in Melbourne is going to be great... I'm going to try to treat it like any other race though. My objective is to finish the race and if everything goes well I don't see why we can't score points.

Q: What is your objective for 2011?

To learn, be really quick, do my best for the team and improve race-by-race.