Pastor Maldonado believes Williams is in a strong position for the Spanish Grand Prix after describing the car as "fantastic".

14610 - 'The car looks fantastic' - Maldonado

A brilliant lap in Q2 was followed up by an equally strong time in Q3 to give Maldonado second place on the grid - his best ever qualifying performance. Having said prior to the weekend that Williams needed to improve its qualifying pace but that its race speed wouldn't be hampered, Maldonado confirmed that he expected to be competitive on Sunday.

"We have been working so hard all year to understand these tyres and with the updates we have brought to this race we have made a very good step forward," Maldonado said. The car is very consistent and its race pace is good so I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. There has been a really positive atmosphere in the team all season and this is a great result for them and Venezuela.

"We need to continue like that; keep pushing. The car looks fantastic ... it's a great feeling to be here. It's my first time in the top three so I'm really happy and hopefully we will continue like that. I would like to say thanks to everyone in the team."

Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan praised Maldonado's performance throughout the three sessions.

"Pastor's qualifying performance was stunning today with a collection of very strong laps throughout the session which allowed us to save a set of soft tyres to fight for a decent qualifying position in Q3," he said. "To finish P2 is a great boost for the whole team and gives us a very good position from which to push hard in the race for decent points and hopefully a further belated 70th birthday present for Frank."