Williams surprised at Maldonado win

Sir Frank Williams has admitted being at a loss to explain how his team managed to win the recent Spanish Grand Prix.

Formula 1 News: Pastor Maldonado, Williams

After seven and a half years without a victory, a period of time Williams has described as "embarrassing for a man with a big ego", Pastor Maldonado took the chequered flag in Barcelona 12 days ago.

The celebrations that day were tempered by the garage fire that broke out 90 minutes after the race, leaving one member of the team still in hospital recovering from burns.

Even in a season as unpredictable as the current campaign, the fact Maldonado triumphed caught everyone by surprise, including the bookmakers as he was a 300/1 shot before the weekend.

As for Williams, it was his team's 114th victory, but one that still came as something of a shock.

"I was surprised," said Williams, ahead of this weekend's race in Monaco where Maldonado has previously won in other categories.

"I've been racing long enough to know you should approach any race with a considerable amount of pessimism and you get better after that.

"All grand prix teams are immensely professional and very few of them make any mistakes worth talking about during a season, so it's hard to prise winners away from winning all the time.

"But whatever we did right, and I don't really know what that was, worked very fine and I was just delighted to come away with all those points and another number one on the scoreboard."

A change in personnel behind the scenes and a switch to Renault engines for this campaign are just two of the factors that have elevated Williams from laughing stock last year to race winners this season.

The appointment of Mike Coughlan as technical director - the man at the heart of the 'spygate' saga that cost McLaren a sporting record fine of nearly £50million in 2007 - has also contributed.

Williams, however, feels it has simply been a case of everything coming together at the right time.

"It wasn't a major reorganisation we had, it was just a few new people arrived and there was a bit of shuffling around," said Williams.

"One or two people can make quite a difference, and it's a complicated matter putting the right group of people together and getting them to fire on all cylinders.

"It comes together once in a while with the car and the driver and everything working very well. We took our chance and got it.

"But nothing significant has changed. It's the same approach, the same reliability.

"If we've gone a bit quicker then it's because the car is quicker and that would have come, more than anything else, from the wind tunnel and from the drivers being particularly tuned in to a particular circuit."



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