Pastor Maldonado has played down rumours he could be shaping up to leave crisis-struck Williams. It is now more than a year since the Venezuelan broke through for his maiden win, with Barcelona 2012 seen at the time as the end of the great British team’s long slump.
But in 2013, Williams is back in the doldrums, even though Valtteri Bottas qualified third on a wet day in Canada. ‘I think the fact is in the dry the car doesn’t belong in P3,’ the Finn immediately admitted. Williams’ troubles have triggered rumours Maldonado might be in talks with Lotus about 2014, with the Enstone team perhaps needing to replace Kimi Raikkonen, and definitely in the mood to welcome a big sponsor like PDVSA.
Maldonado told Spain’s Marca newspaper in Montreal: ‘I am 100 per cent focused on this (Williams) car. We are having a bad year, but that can happen to any team. I think I’m with the best team a young driver aspiring to something more in F1 can be with. Williams is not a small team, it’s an historic team looking to get back. And I want to fight for the title with them. We have everything you need to do that, and I want to win here before going anywhere else,’ he insisted.
Meanwhile, Speed Week reports that Maldonado’s wife Gaby is due to give birth to their first child – a girl – in September.