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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Maldonado runs out of options; wants to stay at Williams

Gosh! isn't it funny how things can change over the course of a week?  Coming up to Japan Pastor Maldonado must have been sweating over whether Hugo Chavez would get re-elected for without his financial backing there would be no seat in Formula 1 for the Venezuelan.

I do have to make an aside here to express my political interest in how a Socialist, Quasi-revolutionary president can justify spending vast wads of cash on one individual, when it might better be used elsewhere to serve the people.

Anyway, luckily for him Chavez did manage to get re-elected and the money was safe, Pastor's participation was assured by Venezuela's deep pockets.

Suddenly he became bullish, making comments both before and after Japan to the effect that he, and his money, might not be at Williams next year.  It also appeared that together, he and his money were "we" as per the following quotes from the 4th and 7th of this month:
I don't want to talk about that now. The team is still looking for the next year, for the drivers, so I prefer to not answer your question about the drivers, but for sure there is still a market, it is moving a lot, so I hope to be in the best place I can.
At the moment, for sure, there is the chance to go to other teams but we are considering remaining here, and it is still too early to say anything. The team, usually they confirm the drivers at the end of the season. So we are talking, we are negotiating...
At the time there were a number of seats up for grabs with the market having been thrown wide open by Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes, and Sergio Pérez replacing him at McLaren.

Sauber was a definite possibility, in that they were (and, theoretically, still are) looking for a driver with sponsorship.  However that seat is being widely reported as being taken by Hulkenburg, which only leaves the option of seats at Force India, Caterham, Marussia, or HRT F1 as realistic possibilities.

Now, having looked at what's left after the feeding frenzy, Pastor and his money realise that they are out of options.

Even Force India isn't looking such a good bet for the future with Vijay Mallya having serious financial issues back home in India.

So really that only leaves Williams as a viable option.  Williams who built him a car this year with huge potential which he has failed to deliver.

Now ESPN are reporting that he has decided that he wants to stay with Williams for the coming year. A much more contrite sounding Maldonado set out his CV for the press and his hopes for 2013:
I passed two wonderful years with the team, I won my first race with the team in my second year and I really appreciate that the team give me a great responsibility as the first driver, driving the first car of the team. 
I think I did pretty well. I could do better and I hope and I am 100% sure that next year will be much better than this year; not only from the driving points of view but also from the team point of view of being much more compact and working in the right direction. We know each other more now so it is going to be easier for both sides next year.
He couldn't make it any clearer, he's now talking as "I" rather than "we", and lets face it, Williams want the money he brings.

It sounds like a done deal.