Williams confirm Maldonado for 2012

2012 F1 season

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Interlagos, 2011

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Interlagos, 2011

Pastor Maldonado will continue to drive for Williams in 2012, the team has confirmed.

Frank Williams said: “Pastor has proven this year that he is not only quick but also that he is able to maintain a consistent and strong race pace.

“Pastor has been responsible for all of our forays into Q3 in 2011 and his race at Monaco was outstanding. Pastor has also settled into the team at Williams very well, contributing strongly in the factory and with our partners.

“He will play a critical role in 2012 as we rebuild the team and move forward.”

Maldonado said: “This has been a tough season for the whole team but it has given me personally the opportunity to learn and develop.

“I am convinced that the steps we have taken to improve our competitiveness will bear fruit in 2012 and beyond. I am thrilled to be part of that and also to represent the people of Venezuela in Formula One.”

Valtteri Bottas, who drove for the team during the young drivers’ test, has also been announced as the team’s reserve driver for next season.

Williams said: “Valtteri has proved a very capable and rounded young man of fierce determination. As the team?s reserve driver, we anticipate that Valtteri will participate in a Friday practice session at 15 Grands Prix next year, most likely with a more experienced driver taking over for the remainder of the race weekend.”

See the updated list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams.

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97 comments on Williams confirm Maldonado for 2012

  1. Jonathan_Byron said on 1st December 2011, 22:42

    When Williams won his last championship?

    In 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve.Since then nothing has to contract more second options
    Where are the Prost Mansell Piquet and I think that this policy will be another 15 years without winning

    Williams Grand Prix Engineering = Chavez Racing Sport.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 23:18

      I don’t understand the criticism of Williams for accepting money from Venezuela. Venezuela is not, and never has been, included in the Axis of Evil. Nor is it a part of the “Outposts of Tyranny”, the list of the most-despotic and oppressive countries in the world. Although it ranks lowly on the Corruption Perception Index, Venezuela is no more corrupt than the rest of South America. And while there are human rights issues in the country, Venezuela is hardly a black hole of human rights the way countries like Zimbabwe are.

      I’m a little hard-pressed to find an answer to this. Why do people criticise Williams for accepting money from Hugo Chavez, but do not criticise Renault or accepting money from Vladimir Putin? Putin is a former KGB agent, who has been accused to arranging the arrest, trial and improsionment of political opponents like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and over a hundred journalists have died under suspicious circumstances while investigating allegations of criminal activity in federal security agencies. And yet, it is perfectly acceptable for Renault to accept Russian rubles, but it is not okay for Williams to take Venezeulan bolivares. Once again, it’s a double-standard among Formula 1 fans who want the sport to be ethical, but only end up being hypocritical.

      The only reason for this anomaly (that I can think of) is that Hugo Chavez is a socialist and he does not particularly like America. However, he controls Venezuela, and Venezuela has massive oil reserves. The American media therefore lump him into the same category as they do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: an unstable despot who threatens the American way of life. Vladimir Putin and Russia, on the other hand, work with America, and so he does not get such a hard time from the press. And Formula 1 fans take to this like clotted cream.

      Hugo Chavez is not evil. There are issues in Venezuela that need to be addressed, but as near as I can tell, he’s not a bad person. But I see other fans ignore this, because if they attack Chavez, they discredit Pastor Maldonado. If they discredit Maldonado, they hope that Williams might drop him. And if Williams drop Maldonado, then the fans hope that someone “more worthy” will wind up in the seat. Ironically enough, the people who do this are using the same bully-boy tactics that they claim to be outraged by when somebody else does it. But then, I guess it’s not a crime when you’re the one committing it.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st December 2011, 23:47

        You’re right, I also think the whole thing is “sell” to people because Americans look at him like “the devil”. They labell him as a dictator when in reality he was elected in a democratic manner.

        He’s not god, he’s no evil. He’s no different to other politician that wants more power as days go by, but so what if he’s supporting his driver (taking the whole affair about the legality of the support in Venezuelan’s law)? Fangio was supported by the argentinean goverment and YPF and no one said anything.

        There are worse issues in F1 to start bickering about all this.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st December 2011, 23:56

        Maybe Venezuela is not in the “Circle of Evil”, but its people is not free, and even if you don´t agree with that, why a “president” will choose to pay for an F1 drive when 27% of his people is poor and 7% is extremly poor…

        The congres is right to question the reason why that much money is being pay to an enterprise with out having any ROI to his country and its people…

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2011, 1:00

          @celeste – You could say many of those things about several countries involved in Formula 1 in some way: Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, China and so on. Yet nobody does say it.

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd December 2011, 1:09

            Not the same, at least as far as I know, Rusia, China, Turkey, etc are not paying for a driver… they are paying for a race (at least I think that thats what you mean)… when a country or a goverment pays for a race they spect that it will gain in turism, publicity… a driver gets nothing to a country…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2011, 7:13

            Not the same, at least as far as I know, Rusia, China, Turkey, etc are not paying for a driver…

            Where do you think Vitaly Petrov’s money comes from?

      • Macca77_F1 said on 2nd December 2011, 3:15

        Sorry to burst your bubble but Hugo Chavez is evil, I live in South America in Colombia to be precise, and Chavez has systematically support our guerrillas that since the 80s have not been more than a group of kidnappers and drug traffickers. He has been one of the main reasons those groups were growing strong till a few years ago when our military could kill some of the important leaders. He has changed agendas a few times and now we can say he has become a bit less of a threat to the region, but make no mistake is not because he doesnt want it, he has seen he cant do it. You said tyranny ? He has supported Libia and Syria since he become president, he has gifted tons of oil to Ghadaffi and visited him and say they were great friends (http://bit.ly/srnYZI), a threat to the “free world” ? you bet, he has also supported, financed and hided Iran initiatives to build nuclear weapons for the last 10 years, if you don’t believe just read about the Iranian banks that mysteriously have opened offices in Venezuela, google it (dont worry here it is http://bit.ly/ruM9na), while you are at it check how many venezuelan ships have been found with illegal cargo like weapons and parts to create the infamous centrifuges for uranium enrichment in different canals and docks around the world (http://bit.ly/sHPdSL). Don’t forget the thousands of tons of food his government has imported over the years just to get the comission and have been found rotten in the docks of his country cause they weren’t supposed to be for the people, (don’t believe me ? http://bit.ly/v793de). I usually read posts here, but when somebody posts things like the ones you have posted I have to communicate what I know so the people that came to this site and don;t know about the subjects (like you) face a bit of reality once in a while

        • Macca77_F1 said on 2nd December 2011, 3:29

          Sorry about the links and the grammar, Links corrected:

          – His friends: http://bit.ly/uqJDjT
          – The weapons smuggle: http://bit.ly/srnYZI
          – Banks: http://bit.ly/ruM9na
          – Food wasted: http://bit.ly/v793de

          • UKFan (@) said on 2nd December 2011, 5:02

            every single country in the world has its “issues” I called it Humanity thats their issue the lack of it.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2011, 7:25

          That’s a very compelling case … but again, I have to ask: why does everybody only complain about Chavez? Let’s take a look at Vladimir Putin’s track record, shall we?

          – He’s a former KGB officer.
          – Hundreds of journalists have died under suspicious crcumstances while investigating allegations of criminal activity within Russian security agencies.
          – Russia has one of the lowest ratings for freedom of the press ratings in the world, and is perhaps the second-worst (after China) of all the developed nations on earth.
          – Putin stands accused of having political opponents arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges to prevent them from running against him in elections.
          – Chechnya is a source of constant problems for Russia; in fact, the entire Caucasus region is a powderkeg.
          – Putin is believed to be backing Alexandr Lukashenko (President of Belarus and widely-accused of being a tyrant) in exchange for Russian control over the Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline feeding Europe.
          – Russia has one of the highest rates of corruption in the world.
          – The Russians were suspected of selling medium-range ballistic missiles to Iran in violation of a UN embargo (it was never proven when the vessel believed to be carrying the missiles – the MV Arctic Sea – was found floating adrift off Africa, supposedly after a pirate attack … in a region of the world where there are no known pirates; Russia was accused of staging the entire thing to prevent the missiles from getting to Iran without losing face when the Israeli Mossad found out about the sale).

          So tell me: why is it such a crime for Frank Williams to accept money from Hugo Chavez … when it is not a crime for Eric Boullier to accept money from Vladimir Putin?

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd December 2011, 8:43

            @Ukfan I don´t think you will support any politician that had has Chavez the background for ruling your country or being “advise” your goverment….

            If Petrov is taking money from Puttin I really didn´t knew, sorry for my ignorance, but I can´t be pro a team thats is willing to take money from Chavez… Sadly I don´t live close enough to know all of the circunstance that surrounding Puttin-Petrov, but I had seem first hand what Chavez has done and how has hurt other countries, like mine… So I´m gonna agree with what @Macca77_ wrote, what Chavez had done to his country, and how much damage he is doing supporting extremist groups in another Latin America´s countries don´t allow me to be impartial.

  2. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 1st December 2011, 22:43

    That oil money is more of à burden than à blessing for Maldonado.

    Even if hè Does well, you can’t help but think about that money.

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 1st December 2011, 22:51

    Boo. I was hoping Sutil would get in, with Senna loaned out by Renault to Williams to square with them keeping Petrov with Kimi (if not, Senna to Lotus and Grosjean to Williams). Not going to happen now.

    For me there were too many negatives surrounding Pastor’s entry into F1. A pay driver who won GP2 in his fourth year after everyone who’d beaten him had already left, he didn’t do much in the first half of the year (though not mediocre per se) besides a good drive at Monaco, there was the incident in Spa which he received a light penalty for (imagine if it had happened in India, after Wheldon’s and Simoncelli’s deaths…) and though he has got the upper hand over Rubens recently, I don’t rate Rubens.

    It’s not that Pastor doesn’t deserve a second chance, just that there was more promising talent I would rather have had there (and Sutil, who’s had his chance at Force India but still has something to prove I think, certainly more than Barrichello). I’m not sure if money was behind this as Patrick Head said at the start of the year that the sponsorship wasn’t contingent on keeping Maldonado (unless he fibbed), perhaps Williams didn’t want a third year of having to get a rookie up to speed? Especially if Barrichello is on the way out.

  4. tflb1 (@) said on 1st December 2011, 22:59

    Something interesting in that statement:

    ‘we anticipate that Valtteri will participate in a Friday practice session at 15 Grands Prix next year, most likely with a more experienced driver taking over for the remainder of the race weekend’

    This seems to me to suggest that Williams are at least considering letting Bottas drive in a few full GPs next year.

  5. I’m not a big Maldonado fan. I haven’t been majorly impressed by his road to F1, and he hasn’t made a huge impact in his first season. He did perform well at Spa and at Monaco though, two tracks which require driver skill more than anything. He also out-qualified Rubens on multiple occasions, no easy feat.

    I’m not surprised by this news, I think he fully deserves another season. I always give a driver at least a season and a half before judging on their potential, and I have a feeling he might just do well next season. He showed some proper promise in 2011 and some qualities that you would expect from a top-end driver.

  6. I’m still hoping that Bruno gets the Williams seat next year. That he can have a pre-season etc..

  7. The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 2nd December 2011, 0:57

    Did anybody else think Maldonado’s face on the BBC tv before the race grid graphics, looked really evil like the villan of F1? such an evil looking grin.

  8. Eggry (@eggry) said on 2nd December 2011, 1:27

    Money talks. Now I wish they choose Sutil…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2011, 8:34

      Money talks.

      And you’re surprised by this? Formula 1 is expensive. Teams need money to survive, and more than half the grid bring sponsors to their teams. Coming off the back of their worst season in their history, Williams are certainly not in a position where they can overlook the contribution pay drivers make to them. If they want to recover, they need money to do it.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 2nd December 2011, 1:56

    Maldonado is not a bad driver but as Frank Williams said “Frank Williams said: “Pastor has proven this year that he is not only quick but also that he is able to maintain a consistent and strong race pace & MONEY”
    So as we don’t see Kimi I think it will be good if the team sign Sutil as he is experience & also have MONEY with him.

  10. Lachie (@lachie) said on 2nd December 2011, 2:40

    That’s a shame

  11. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 2nd December 2011, 2:55

    Well that’s massively disappointing.

  12. Shomir (@shomir) said on 2nd December 2011, 10:52


    just sayin.

  13. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 2nd December 2011, 11:34

    Corrected the quote for you Keith:

    Frank Williams said: “Pastor has proven this year that he is not quick but does come with a suitcase full of cash!”

  14. Felipe Bomeny (@portugoose) said on 2nd December 2011, 12:28

    Honestly, I was hoping for a Petrov-Sutil line-up at Williams (with Grosjean in the Renault) but this will obviously not happen now. Maldonado isn’t all that bad; had he finished at Monaco, he’d have outscored Barrichello. Maldonado did as good as Hülkenberg, plus he carries the PDVSA funding. Sure, this is monetary decision, but with a stronger car, he could really impress.

    As for the second seat, Sir Frank Williams effectively rules out Giedo van der Garde from that seat, so I think it’s time for van der Garde to pack his bags and move to the States. The second Williams seat will either go to Petrov or Sutil…. hopefully Sutil keeps his Force India seat, Petrov takes Barrichello’d seat, and Grosjean is promoted to Renault.

  15. galzo33 (@galzo33) said on 2nd December 2011, 12:53

    Two words “PAY DRIVER”

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