Pastor Maldonado believes that he has a better understanding of Pirelli's 2012 Formula 1 tires than he did with last year's rubber.
This season's tires have been the subject of much discussion, as teams battle to get them to work. That has resulted in fluctuating form throughout the field. But Maldonado, who won the Spanish Grand Prix for Williams and was fighting for a podium finish in Valencia before colliding with Lewis Hamilton, is happy that he knows what to do to get the 2012-spec compounds working.
"I think I understand the tires very well," said Maldonado. "Much better than last year. Even if they changed for this year, I have a great feeling.
"I know exactly what to do to look after the tires, how to manage the race to get a longer life from them. I am always trying to improve, but I think the combination between me, the car, and the tires is good at the moment."
Maldonado explained that he has worked hard to get an understanding of the Pirellis because of how close the competition is in F1 this year.
"These tires are working with a small window of temperature," he added. "As soon as you are slightly out of that range, you are nowhere. It is very difficult to put a lap together, and the gaps are so small. As soon as you lose two tenths, it is difficult even to get into the top 10.
"We have been working so hard to try to understand the tires, to help them, and to get the car working in different conditions and different set-ups."