He took to Twitter to hush the rumours and reassure his followers that he would be on the 2014 F1 grid, representing Venezuela. Reports broke over the weekend suggesting that there were problems with Venezuelan government’s investment into motorsport. This cast doubts over Maldonado’s future, as he is backed by state-owned oil company PDVSA.
It is thought that Maldonado is looking for a drive elsewhere next season after a terrible year for Williams. Their efforts have yielded only one point, scored at the Hungarian Grand Prix, so far with the 28-year-old reportedly saying that he may as well not race instead of fighting for positions outside of the top 10.
Maldonado felt the need to explain the situation on Twitter, saying: “Rumours about my relationship with Williams and vice versa are completely false. There is a good relationship between driver and team. We have been working hard day and night to improve our performance and results.
“Unfortunately this is F1, there are good years and bad, I think we’re not the only ones who have gone through difficult times in terms of results. Similarly, we have shown that even after non-competitive performance we did not give up and won’t give up until the last race.”
He added: “About my future: I will be in F1 next season proudly representing Venezuela. Hopefully good news soon.”
The mood in the Williams camp after the Japanese Grand Prix was particularly downbeat after an on-track battle between Maldonado and Bottas in the closing went a bit too far. On the last lap of the race, Maldonado dived up the inside of his team-mate into the final chicane. It was a late move that forced Bottas off the circuit and onto the run-off area. The Finn was not happy with the move, describing it as “risky” after the race.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic