Williams's Coughlan defends Maldonado

Williams F1, LAT Photographic

14 December 2012 by Ryan Wood

Mike Coughlan has come to the defence of Pastor Maldonado who has been labelled 'accident prone' following a string of accidents during his first two seasons in Formula 1.

The Venezuelan was penalised twice as many times in 2012 than any other driver on the grid. He was handed a total of 10 penalties for various incidents.

Coughlan though says it's partly Williams' fault for providing a car only capable of fighting in the midfield at certain races.

"We win as a team and lose as a team," he told Speed Week.

"Of course we’ve been through some difficult situations together and he will have learned from it. But it's not our style to point the finger at someone.

"It could just as well be argued that if we had given him a better car, he would not have been battling in the midfield so often."

Whilst some of Maldonado's incidents have been the result of racing in a tight midfield, others have not, including his deliberate swipe at Sergio Perez in Monaco which almost saw him excluded from the event.

Speaking of the Grove based outfit's recent surge in performance which saw them finish 8th in the constructors' compared to 9th in 2011 with a points tally of 76 compared to 5, Coughlan put the onus on the Renault engine.

"The biggest advantage has been the Renault engine — light, powerful, reliable," he added.

"It meant we were able to focus entirely on aerodynamic development, and it paid off."