Maldonado plays down switch to Lotus reports 19 July, 2013 Pastor Maldonado Pastor Maldonado has again dismissed ongoing speculation that he might switch from struggling Williams to Lotus for the 2014 Formula 1 season. It has been rumoured the Venezuelan, whose major backers PDVSA have sponsored Williams since his F1 debut in 2011, is a leading contender to replace Kimi Raikkonen should the Finn move to Red Bull next year. Speed Week quoted the 28-year-old as initially dismissing the speculation on Thursday, insisting: “I have other problems to think about than next year. “We need to be competitive again, and that’s all that matters right now.” Speed Week claims there are two details that speak against a move to the more-competitive Lotus for Maldonado. The first is that the PDVSA deal is actually between the Venezuelan oil giant and Williams, rather than between Maldonado and PDVSA. And the second hurdle is that Lotus is substantially backed by Total, a French oil company that would not share space on the 2014 livery with PDVSA. Maldonado said: “I will continue [with Williams]. Especially since the fabulous news that Pat Symonds is coming. His achievements speak for themselves. You’ll see, soon Williams will be [competitive] again.” Maldonado was at the Silverstone test to try Pirelli’s new Hungary-spec tyres, but he sounded critical of the limits put on race drivers this week. “We couldn’t change anything on the car. Nothing,” he told Brazil’s Agencia Estado. “Will the new tyres help me go back to my old driving style? I hope so, but we don’t know. Honestly, we have bigger problems [than tyres] with this car.” (GMM) Subbed by AJN.