Maldonado: I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure and the temperatures

Pastor Maldonado walks back to the Williams pit garage at COTA after qualifying

Pastor Maldonado walks back to the Williams pit garage at COTA after qualifying

Williams rejected any suggestion of favouritism or dirty tricks after their departing Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado made thinly-veiled accusations of shenanigans against the Formula 1 team on Saturday.

Maldonado, who is leaving the team after next week’s finale in Brazil, qualified only 18th for the United States Grand Prix while Finnish rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas put his car in ninth place on the grid.

“I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure and the temperatures. But one more race to go, so great,” Maldonado told Britain’s Sky Sports television.

“You need to ask the team, to the guys that are working on the car, it is quite clear,” he added when asked to explain the difference between him and his team mate. “It is a question for them.”

Maldonado has scored the former Champion’s sole point of the season so far and has become increasingly frustrated by their performance.

Pastor Maldonado runs off track during qualifying at COTA

Pastor Maldonado runs off track during qualifying at COTA

The divorce between last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner and the team was sealed earlier in the week when Williams announced that Maldonado would be leaving and Ferrari‘s Brazilian Felipe Massa taking his place.

Maldonado, who has considerable financial backing from state oil company PDVSA, further stirred up controversy by telling reporters in Austin that he had “delivered more to the team than they did for me.”

He has also made clear that he is happy to be leaving and had sought the move.

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams dismissed his accusatory words as merely those of a frustrated driver speaking in the heat of the moment.

“It’s a big adrenaline rush for drivers, isn’t it?,” she said. “People say things after these kind of situations and we’ll go back and talk to the engineers and see what happened.

“But never in Williams, in our experience and our history, would we ever do anything like that.”

Pastor Maldonado speaks to Williams engineers in Austin

Pastor Maldonado speaks to Williams engineers in Austin

Williams, winners of nine constructors’ titles in their heyday between 1980 and 1997, denied that there was a bad atmosphere within the team.

“When we are behind closed doors, it’s not acrimonious,” she said. “There’s not that kind of atmosphere within the team. Pastor has said that he wants to go to another team and that’s completely fine. Drivers do that. This is Formula 1, it’s the nature of our business.”

Maldonado has been linked to Lotus, who need a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen and are also in need of funds, and cash-strapped Sauber for 2014.

Bottas, whose place at Williams in 2014 has been confirmed, was fastest in the first phase of qualifying and hoped he could finally score some points on Sunday. The Finn also dismissed talk of any favouritism or anything shifting in his favour.

“I haven’t noticed anything,” he said. “Everything is still the same, the cars are the same and I’m just doing my best here.”

Williams said that the Finn’s performance had been a big morale boost, “It just shows that Williams is competing again and it just feels so great. He did a great job the whole way through qualifying today.” (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Spartacus

    Crashtor Walldonado should just go F*CK himself!

  • bamza


  • ZombieJebus

    He’s a disgusting character and this is his typical arrogant behavior, Ask Rosberg or Massa about thier tyres. Williams deserves better and Maldo deserves the axe.

  • Liam

    The only reason he is there is because of his financial backing. We all know it, but in his delusional state he must think it’s his talent. What a dickbrain.

  • captain tortuga

    Im still wondering why half the comments i post, are not ‘posted’

    I guess, this website has the same ‘competence’ as Crashtor.

  • captain tortuga

    Also im actually kind of surprised by Maldonna’s comment thats says : “I think”

    Because i think.. he does not think.. he showed that time and time again.

    I actually unliked Lotus-F1-Teams on FB etc. And i suggest that as long as The Hulk is not confirmed everyone does that :D

  • McLarenfan

    Maldonado looked like a raving psycho in that interview I was scared for Nat Pinks.
    He has lost the plot and needs a white jacket were the arms do up at the back.

  • Hugo

    Hopefully he races in some crummy series next year. Fire him now!

  • Mopar21222

    Sack him immediately and put Susie in the car; its not like they are battling for key points anyways, let her get some seat time.

  • Spartacus

    Williams are struggling to be anywhere on the grid so why would they deliberately hobble one car to be at the back?

    Probably more to do with him seeking a drive that even with the huge amount of money he’d take with him no respectful F1 team would consider someone who was so convincingly out paced by their team mate.

    Well done to Botas; finally showing the potential we hoped he had.

  • haha

    They said there was nothing wrong with Senna’s car too. What if Pastor was right on this one? And for all you people jealous of his financial backing, look in the mirror. If you were as fast as he is and you have the sponsors you would also do the same and exploit that. Personally I like to see the Hulk at Ferrari next to Kimi. But if you compare the both, Pastor won his 1shot at a victory under huge pressure from Alonso (Williams may be grateful for that). Nico had a shot at victory in Brazil with FI last year, he was the one putting pressure on Button but blew it by running into a Mclaren(as Pastor crashed out when chasing Alonso in Melbourne). Yes this year he showed more resiliance in his lesser Sauber compared to top cars but so did Pastor last year. The only thing is that Bottas and Hulk had some lightning qualies. I was verry sceptic of Pastor at first but he proven me wrong.

  • johans

    when you get out of the car check the telemetry and pressures and compare and then shut your mouth. What a tool. i’m sure all of the other teams are dying to have such a “team player” among their ranks, money or no money . maybe montoya needs a team mate…..

  • the fan

    maldonado, perez and helmut marko can form a new team called the arrogant idiots

  • MightyK

    @the fan…..
    Well said!! Though I have a few more team names we can mull over.

  • Hugo

    @the fan LOL!

    Right on. They could bring back Ralf Schumacher for a truly complete team.

  • PB

    If Maldonado could drive it would be a different matter. He has not got the talent for F1. Yes he may have won a race, but look at the circumstances surrounding that race. What has he done this year with the same team – 1 point (one 10th place). No talent here.

  • ZombieJebus

    He has no one to blame in quali because of Rosberg, Button, and Massa all having the same issue with the tyres. But he blames his employers. Such an amateur move. CE handles it well, but you can bet the meeting behind closed doors was something else! He changed his tune today, didn’t he? Though maybe that due to Quantum’s open admission to insisting on Hulk.

    Who is he going to blame for his race antics with Sutil? With that much room “it’s driver error” – David Coulthard

  • Pope

    If someone already got named “Pastor”…