Posted on March 28, 2014


Lotus’ troubled start to the season continued in Sepang as the team’s drivers set a total of just 14 timed laps across both opening practice sessions, with neither driver record a time in FP1 and Pastor Maldonado failing to set a time all day. The Venezuelan was restricted to the garage for much of the morning session in Malaysia but he eventually took the track with 20 minutes remaining. His outing didn’t last long however. Midway through his out lap smoke could be seen pouring from the back of his E22 and he was quickly told to “switch off the More…

Posted on November 29, 2013


As expected, Lotus have announced that Pastor Maldonado will join the Enstone-based team next season alongside Romain Grosjean, who retains his race seat for a third year. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was the initial frontrunner to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who will return to Ferrari next season, at Lotus. However, consistent delays in an investment deal with Quantum Motorsports meant Lotus required a driver with backing and Maldonado – with his $30m of sponsorship money from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA – entered the frame. Maldonado leaves Williams after three seasons and 58 grand prix starts. The high point came in the 2012 More…

Posted on November 18, 2013


Williams endured a weekend of contrasting fortunes in Austin, with rookie Valtteri Bottas scoring his first Formula 1 points while team-mate Pastor Maldonado finished well off the pace after an outburst directed at the team post-qualifying. Bottas looked quick throughout all segments of qualifying, as the Finn took advantage of an improve car which was no longer running its Coanda-effect exhausts, to line up ninth on the grid. From there, he drove a very strong race, which included a brilliant pass on Esteban Gutierrez, to finish eighth and score his first points. He now has four times the number of More…

Posted on October 31, 2013


[Updated] The F1 driver market is starting to kick into gear for next season with the logjam over who will drive for Lotus appearing close to clearing. Although Pastor Maldonado remains tight lipped, it seems that he has signed or is about to sign for Lotus for next year, Venezuelan oil backer PDVSA having reached an agreement with Williams over severance. “At the moment I don’t have any confirmation. We will see later. I hope to have a clearer idea before the end of the season,” said Maldonado in Abu Dhabi this afternoon. “There is a lot of speculation. It’s More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has criticised team-mate Pastor Maldonado after the two drivers narrowly avoided a collision at the final chicane on the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Maldonado, 28, dived down the inside of Bottas at the chicane, forcing the Finn to take avoiding action and cut the chicane. Maldonado crossed the line 16th, one place ahead of Bottas, who was struggling with high tyre degradation at the time. Bottas, 24, believes they would have crashed if he had attempted to take the corner. The Finn said: “There was no space on the track. It was not More…

Posted on November 12, 2012


Pastor Maldonado may have endured a season of wildly fluctuating fortunes but one area in which the Williams driver has consistently impressed has been in qualifying. Whereas team-mate Bruno Senna has only made Q3 once in 18 attempts, Maldonado has reached the top 10 on 11 occasions, burnishing his reputation as a one-lap specialist by starting inside the front two rows four times. The most noticeable thing about his two most recent top-four starts, in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, was his lap-time improvement between Q2 and Q3:  the Venezuelan finding the best part of seven and eight tenths in the More…

Posted on November 8, 2012


Williams executive director Toto Wolff insists the team has not yet decided which two drivers it will pair together in 2013, with the option of retaining the current line-up “one of the possibilities”. Incumbents Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna have both experienced mixed seasons, part explaining why the team sits only eighth in the constructors’ championship despite a big step forward in car performance, although the former has delivered the more eye-catching results with a win in Barcelona and a number of impressive Q3 laps. Senna by comparison has consistently struggled to match Maldonado’s qualifying feats, yet has been the More…

Posted on November 7, 2012


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for November, brought to you by UBS. This month we have something a bit special. We went to Paris to quiz FIA president Jean Todt on the key subjects of the moment in F1 – the new higher team entry fees, 2014 engines and whether Bernie Ecclestone will have more of a say in making the F1 rules in future, “I will never allow things which are under our responsibility to be dealt with by anyone else,” he says forthrightly. And we have a behind-the-scenes special with the Williams F1 team. Bruno Senna More…

Posted on September 5, 2012


One of the collateral effects of the one race ban on Romain Grosjean for causing the startline pile up at Spa, is to ask questions about how Pastor Maldonado has so far avoided a similar ban. Maldonado again firmly found himself under fire for his driving in Belgium with the Williams driver picking up penalties for three separate offences over the Spa weekend. It has raised questions about whether F1 should move towards a system of yellow cards, as in football, where an automatic ban is imposed once a certain number of yellow cards have been accrued. While Romain Grosjean’s More…

Posted on July 8, 2012


Pastor Maldonado was handed only a €10,000 euro fine by race stewards at Silverstone, despite calls from Sergio Perez, the driver he took out of the race, for them to take strong action against the Venezuelan. Maldonado and Perez collided on lap 11 as Perez tried to pass the Williams around the outside at Brooklands corner. Maldonado appeared to drive outwards, towards the Sauber and they touched, spinning both off the race track and Perez into retirement. This followed the incident in Valencia where Maldonado took Lewis Hamilton out in the closing stages of the race, for which he was More…

Posted on May 17, 2012


Pastor Maldonado took the time to speak to selected media today in a Williams phone in. The Venezuelan sounded upbeat, but also forward looking as he wants to repeat the success again as soon as possible, perhaps in Monaco, “For sure we will do our best. The teams are so close, the championship is so close, but we are getting better and better,” he said. “At the moment we don’t have the quickest car in the track. But why not. F1 is changing every time, it will be difficult but we will try. The Williams looks a front running package More…

Posted on May 14, 2012


Pastor Maldonado’s victory in yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix as well as strong showings from Grosjean in the last two races and from Sergio Perez in Malaysia is highighting an important point about F1 and the relative state of the drivers. Do we often not give enough credit to the drivers in midfield cars? For years F1 races have been won by an elite of drivers from top teams with perhaps only 7 drivers managing to visit the F1 podium in the course of an entire season. In five races this season, we’ve already had 9 drivers on the podium and More…

Posted on May 13, 2012


Pastor Maldonado gave Williams its first F1 win since 2004 with a brilliantly judged victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen. It was Maldonado’s first win in his 24th Grand Prix start and the first for a Venezuelan. He is the fifth winner and car combination in five Grands Prix, the first time that has happened since 1983. “We are getting better race after race,” said Maldonado. “This is a dream for Venezuela and a great moment for our country.” Maldonado started from pole position after Lewis Hamilton More…

Posted on December 2, 2011


A day after its entry for 2012 was published by the FIA without a named driver, Williams has this evening announced that Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado will race with the team in 2012. Meanwhile rumours that Finnish GP3 driver Valterri Bottas would get a race seat have proved wide of the mark, as the team confirmed that he will remain as third driver. But as an added incentive to the youngster, he will be given Friday morning practice runs at 15 of the races next season. This is a programme which Force India has used very effectively over the past two More…

Posted on August 27, 2011


The FIA Stewards have penalised Pastor Maldonado for the incident in qualifying with Lewis Hamilton. The Venezuelan will drop five grid positions from 16th to 21st on the grid after the stewards decided that he was the one most at fault. Hamilton gets off with a reprimand, but it’s important to recognise that in the stewards’ eyes he too is guilty of “a breach of the regulations” by causing an incident under article 16.1 – in this case the relevant definition from the menu of definitions in that Article must be “caused a collision”. Close inspection of the replays show More…

Posted on January 15, 2011


The Williams team is in Venezuela at the moment and today the team announced the long-awaited tie up with PDVSA, the state owned oil company. It is a massive boost to the team, which said goodbye to important sponsors RBS and Philips at the end of last season. Venezuela has the world’s sixth largest oil reserves and is in the top ten oil exporters. It has by far the largest oil business of any Central or South American country. “They are a substantial partner and can make a meaningful difference to our fighting ability,” said the team’s figurehead, Frank Williams. More…

Posted on December 1, 2010


Williams will have two South American drivers next season as it has been confirmed that the seat alongside Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello will be filled by Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado. He is the first driver from that country since Johnny Ceccotto, who did 18 Grands Prix in 1983 and ’84. The news is no surprise, it has been rumoured for months and when Nico Hulkenberg was released last month it was only a matter of time before Williams announced the reigning GP2 champion as its new driver. In this respect he follows a proud tradition of GP2 champions who have taken More…

Posted on October 31, 2010


For the past few weeks the word inside the F1 paddock has been that a deal for Pastor Maldonado to race for Williams F1 next year is done. There is an assumption that this would be at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg, who is in his first season in F1. Williams currently refuse to confirm or deny this, however they did announce this week that Maldonado will take part in the Young Driver test for Williams at Abu Dhabi next month. At 25 he is not exactly a young driver by today’s standards, but he qualifies in terms of his More…



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