Maldonado sponsors invoiced $46 million by Williams for 2012 race seat 15 February, 2012 Pastor Maldonado Feb.15 (PVM) It has emerged in documents leaked through the internet that Pastor Maldonado’s backers, Venzuelean government oil company PDVSA, are due to pay over $45 million to Williams for a seat in the team in 2012. Williams invoice to PDVSA A copy of an invoice from Williams to PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela SA) of £29.4 million ($46.29 million) which was due to be paid on 31 October 2011. This has come to light in the aftermath of allegations, in Venezuelan political circles late last year, that the deal was illegal. We reported this in November last year here>>> Venezuelan congressman Carlos Ramos led the protest, against President Hugo Chavez, demanding that the contract details between PDVSA and Williams be made public as per requirements of the law in that country. However the government has ignored the demands, but the invoice has appeared online on several websites, along with excerpts of the contract. Payment for the invoice apparently secures Maldonado’s race seat with the team for 2012. According to the contract, the amount escalates annually until the end of 2015 when the team will be raking in £40 million ($63 million) for Maldonado’s seat. According to leaked portions of the contract, between PDVSA and Williams, the deal appears to favour the team more so than the government organisation. For example, article 5.3 states: “Once a candidate has been nominated and appointed by Williams, his appointment may be terminated only by Williams.” The contract stipulates that the contract runs until 31 December 2015. Thus Maldonado is easily the highest paying driver in Formula 1 history. This coupled to a huge chunk of money reportedly being brought in by Bruno Senna and his backers, ensures that the Williams team is in the pounds seat for the forthcoming season. Unless, of course, the deal goes sour with PDVSA, which could well happen as public discord mounts in the oil rich South American nation at the amount being paid for Maldonado to be in Formula 1. Reports on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.