Maldonado exit from Williams could open door for Massa beyond 2013

Felipe Massa with Pastor Maldonado

Felipe Massa with Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado’s exit from Williams would pave the way for Felipe Massa to move in beyond 2013, the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo is reporting.

Correspondent Livio Oricchio claims that talks between Venezuelan Maldonado’s management and sponsors, and bosses of the Grove based team, are currently underway.

The 28-year-old has reportedly run out of patience at Williams, despite the fact that his powerful sponsors PDVSA remain under contract to the British team. Williams admits that it has a problem.

“I’ve never seen a racing car that reacts so little to modifications,” veteran team manager Dickie Stanford told Auto Motor und Sport, referring to the FW35 that has powered Maldonado to just a single point in 2013.

One unnamed team member, however, said 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Maldonado has also been part of the problem.

Pastor Maldonado and Williams have had a frustrating year together

Pastor Maldonado and Williams have had a frustrating year together

“He still makes too many mistakes,” the team member is quoted. “In Korea, we told him repeatedly in the last stint to take care of the right front and, if possible, stay out of the battles. But what did he do? Drives like a madman and ruins his tyres within three laps.”

Maldonado also reportedly infuriated team bosses when he forced past teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final corner of the last lap in Japan, for a mere 16th place.

Both Germany’s AM&S and O Estado de S.Paulo say Maldonado is eyeing departing Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Lotus.

Lotus would apparently prefer to sign Nico Hulkenberg, but that depends on the team finalising its 35 per cent sale to a group of investors known as Quantum.

“[Quantum] are always saying ‘We’re coming, we’re coming’, but nothing happens,” a Lotus source told Oricchio.

Pastor Maldonado benefits from Venezuelan state backing

Pastor Maldonado benefits from Venezuelan state backing

That is where Maldonado could come in. His sponsor PDVSA, bringing €35 million a year to Williams, remains under contract to Williams for two more years. But Oricchio said exit talks between the Maldonado camp and Williams are taking place.

AM&S’ Michael Schmidt said that deputy team boss Claire Williams was in Caracus recently, amid reports that PDVSA could pay millions to buy its way out of the deal.

Oricchio agreed that the exit talks have intensified since Suzuka. The Venezuelan state oil company would then back Maldonado’s switch to Lotus.

It is claimed that Maldonado’s manager, Nicolas Todt, is pushing for the deal to happen because it would open Williams’ door to his other charge, Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian, who has reportedly put together a sponsor package worth about € 6 million, including Petrobras, is looking for a drive for 2014 after losing his seat at Ferrari.

Todt said: “Yes, it’s been difficult for Pastor this year, with a car that does not allow the drivers to score points. They have to react and they have been hiring new people. Next year [Williams] would be an excellent option for Felipe.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • McLarenfan

    Maldonado still makes too many mistakes. Told to stay out of the battles. But what did he do? Drives like a madman. This is a surprise to whom!!!

  • captain tortuga

    @Mcl-Fan.. yeah, i would also be surprised if Lotus would sign Crashtor.. he is a shame for the F1 and is far worse than for example narain kartikihan. (which was kinda slow, but also pretty consistent.)

    This Pastor is PAY-driver.. not an F1-driver.

    (some drivers pay, but are still F1-drivers.. if it wasn’t for the 35millions.. he would have never been seated in a F1 car due to sheer lack of talent!

  • Virender

    @captain tortuga.. Y Narain Karthikeyan – Making to F1 Grid is not a Joke, Karthikeyan is still better than this Moron! Rather than 1 Win Narain may have given consistence point finishes with FW34 atleast.

  • Alex

    You know how many drivers are “pay” drivers you fools. Even Alonso got his Ferrari seat through Santander sponsor. They all bring money and if they had 0 then they wouldnt drive. At least Maldonado won a race fighting off a double world champion in the wet at his home grand prix!
    Could Narain do that? Highly doubt it. Maldonado has alot of heart which is why he is trying everything to make an impression. How many other drivers in this years line up have won a race in a car thats better than last years Williams?? Grosjean, Sutil, Hulk, Ricciardo, Massa, Perez?? Stop ur hating losers…

  • Mopar212222

    I wonder why Williams didn’t abandon this car many months ago and update last years car, which was great. This year’s car doesn’t have the low gear box with the angled driveshafts, which might be part of the problem.

    If this happens, and Nico gets screwed again, I’d rather see Williams eat some crow and bring back Nico.

  • el vicepresidente

    well done Mopar212222 the problem is williams and only williams lock at the aerodynamics red bull same engine almost same last year body,renault same engine same last year body de rest sucks they change and mercedes tyres.

  • Rick

    Neither of these 2 drivers merit having a seat in F1 next year at all. Massa lost it after the crash and Crashtor never had it to begin with.

  • el vicepresidente

    as a respect to them I will not include their names alonzo,vetted,weber,mass,button,raikkonen,hamilton
    Paul di resta 54 grand prix 0
    Grajean 41 ” 0 future world Champ
    Hulkenberg 54 ” 0
    Perez,Perez 53 ” 0
    Ricciardo 46 ” 0 he has good L
    Sutil 105 ” 0 I hate Hamilton
    Rosberg 146 ” 2 first GP after 135 GP
    Maldonado 54 ” 1 and upset because williams is a P of S and for 35 mil you need something better
    Massa no more than 12 GP in 188 races.Do not blame always the pilot they need to win they have to win but the cars are the problem.OPEN MIND PLEASE YOU GUYS SOUND LIKE OUR WIFE

  • Frodo

    Mopar212222 is 100% right very good observation with the williams. Yes and Williams should get experienced drivers to develop the car that lost there drive because they had to make way for pay drivers. Even Bruno Senna was more consistent last year but lost his drive.

  • Alex

    Can’t ignore the statistics dudes. I rather have a wolf than a sheep. Baaaaaaahhh with your consistent parade drivers.
    Maldonado will shut you all up once again. Wish I could of seen your faces in Barca 2012. :/