Leaving Williams was a “tough decision” – Maldonado

2013 United States Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Pastor Maldonado says it was his decision to leave Williams after three years with the team.

Wiliams confirmed on Monday Felipe Massa will replace Maldonado in their 2014 line-up.

“It was a tough decision from my side,” said Maldonado during the United States Grand Prix press conference.

“I spent three years with the team, special years I think, they give me the opportunity to become a Formula One driver. We won a race which is quite special as a driver and I think as a team, even for them after eight years without winning anything. So I think was the most special moment for us.

“But sometimes you need to take some hard decisions. It’s my case at the moment. I think I’m feeling quite good, is leaving an important moment for my career, improving every time, doing some solid races, trying to get the maximum from the team, trying to get the maximum from the car.

“For sure the season has been very, very hard for all the team. We were expecting something more from the car from the total performance. And yeah we couldn’t achieve our targets but sometimes it’s like that, Formula One is like that, sometimes you can and sometimes not, you need to learn from the mistake and try always to do your best.”

Asked if he knew which team he will be driving for next year Maldonado said: “Yeah, for sure I know.”

“I have a couple of options, we are still working on it. And I really hope to have a clear answer soon.”

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115 comments on Leaving Williams was a “tough decision” – Maldonado

  1. Please, please let it not be Lotus. I don’t think I can emphasise enough how much I feel HĂĽlkenberg deserves a promotion.

    • Rockie said on 14th November 2013, 18:39

      Why?
      The man is a race winner last year a lot of people were clamoring for Grosjean to be shown the door.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 14th November 2013, 20:13

        The man is a race winner

        The luck of the tyreish.

        • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 22:22

          Soaking up lap after lap of pressure from Alonso at his home Grand Prix – pure luck!

          Hulkenberg, Perez and Maldonado have all had the opportunity to win a single race, Maldonado was the only one to hold his nerve and see the opportunity through.

          Good pun though.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 14th November 2013, 21:13

        The man has been matched by a rookie. And more importantly, he is a mad crash dummy.

        • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 15th November 2013, 11:00

          Was he? Has Bottas anything this season (except 3rd in wet qualifying) to show for? Maldonado scored Williams only point. In qualifying he is losing by 3 races (not that many), but leads 9-4 in higher race finishes. He was 11th four times, on the verge of getting a point.

          He has not been matched by Bottas, Bottas did not languish far behind though.

          • @einariliyev Well said, the stats prove that MAL is better than BOT, and he is not a worse driver. Having won a GP speak volumes for him, at least in that way he is way ahead than most other drivers on the grid

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 14th November 2013, 19:02

      As much as I feel Maldonado is quick, I too like Hulk more. Its a pity Maldonado is the driver everyone loves to hate.

    • @vettel1 Please, please let it not be Lotus.

      I hope that not only is it Lotus, but that Maldonado wins a race there – something that I don’t recall Hulkenberg doing anywhere, no?

      • @joepa I also never recall HĂĽlkenberg being in a car that was arguably capable of 4th in the constructor’s championship in the right hands.

        However, I do recall him for a quite substantial period of time leading the 2012 Brazillian GP.

        • Strontium (@strontium) said on 14th November 2013, 19:35

          @joepa I recall Hulkenberg getting a pole position in a mediocre car.

        • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 23:19

          I recall that lead not being converted into a win, unlike Maldonado at Barcelona.

          • @jackisthestig I also recall those conditions catching out no less than Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, so two small mistakes (one with little consequence, the other unfortunately quite a lot) is hardly a reason to discredit his entire drive and his entire credentials.

          • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 15th November 2013, 3:06

            @jackisthestig Do you remember someone in the recent past who kept two world champions behind him lap after lap in an inferior car , who was praised by the commentators , the critics and who got driver of the weekend by the biggest margin ? DO you remember who ? Yes, it’s the Hulk .

          • Nene_ps3n said on 15th November 2013, 12:36

            Yes, I DO remember another driver in the recent past that kept two world champions behind lap after lap. He won driver of the week and also was praised by critcs and commentantors. Do u wanna know who he was?. It was MAL in spanish GP 2012.

      • Andrei said on 14th November 2013, 20:37

        Apart from that, what he has done? Nothing. A fifth place and a few more finishes on the points. That’s nothing. Hulk, since his first season, has been performed consistently. That’s more valuable to a team than a driver who won a GP and failed to deliver the rest of the season.

      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 22:30

        I hope Maldonado goes to Lotus, Hulkenberg stays at a newly financially secure Sauber and they are both regular front-runners.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 14th November 2013, 20:28

      @vettel1 If Maldonado gets that seat, it’ll be a very dark day for F1. Why? Well, a young gun has dominated the junior series, made a successful transition to F1 and has not only showed promise, but real championship winning potential. In other words, Hulkenberg could not have done more, and I rate him every bit as highly as I rated Vettel in his Toro Rosso years.

      If money is chosen over talent, then what is the point of the junior series? What is the point of this global search for talent if when talent is found it isn’t rewarded with the top drives? As demonstrated by Lotus in the way they chose Kovalainen over Valsecchi, experience is clearly an attribute that is highly valued, but how can young drivers be expected to gain experience if their are constantly fighting for their place in F1? This is, in my opinion, one of the gravest threats to F1′s health, but one so simple to solve. A simple cap, or ban even on the amount of sponsorship drivers can bring would end this culture of using drivers as an income source in one sweep.

      My pretty penny is still bet in Hulkenberg’s favour with regards to the Lotus drive, but that really is based on nothing more than the violent backlash there would be if they did sign “Money, Money, Money Maldonado”…and the promising signs regarding the Quantum deal.

      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 23:12

        That would be true of $ergey $irotkin but I fail to see how Hulkenberg v Maldonado is anything other than talent v talent plus money.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 15th November 2013, 3:10

        @william-brierty Right you are . And probably the only one who can better Hamilton in sheer natural pace IMHO. And if he has Vettel’s work ethic , then who knows ? A multiple WDC prospect . All to be thrown in the bin because of some hot blooded guy who has money .Tch…tch…this hurts . I hope Lotus go for Hulk.

      • Flying Lobster 27 said on 15th November 2013, 14:44

        That word on junior championships is utter rubbish. Why? Well, Maldonado won ten GP2 races, more than anyone else bar Romain Grosjean I believe (counting Romain’s GP2 Asia wins), and the 2010 championship. He could not have done more, I believe…
        Maldonado joining Lotus would be weird on two points. First of all, not so long ago, I wouldn’t have dared to imagine a more spare-bodywork-part-demanding pairing than Grosjean-Maldonado. Plus Grosjean was banned after Spa last year, while Maldonado has deserved a ban every time he’s visited the place. Secondly, and more importantly, Grosjean is supported by Total, and Maldonado by PDVSA, both oil companies. Now, I know we’ve seen the names Renault, Lotus and Lada all emblazoned on the same car at this team before, but how would that work out?

    • Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 14th November 2013, 20:32

      +6

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th November 2013, 22:02

      @vettel1
      +7
      What did you expect from a team runned by an investment firm (Gerard Lopez & Éric Lux) , Genii Capital , to choose talent over money ??? I don’t say that Maldonando isn’t talented but Hulkenberg is a driver who deserves to be in a top team, he can give any of the current top drivers a run for their money, even with this Sauber he has made it difficult to drivers like Hamilton & Alonso
      Lotus owners can sign Hulkenberg immediatly but they are trying to make immediate cash from every opportunity, they will secure Quantum deal and then take Maldonado who brings around 30 Million euro a year, Pure Capitalism !!!!!!!

      • @tifoso1989 I do hope you are proven wrong, but I’m increasingly fearful that you may indeed be spot on.

        Maldonado himself wouldn’t be a bad choice, but it’s the simple fact that it’s him vs HĂĽlkenberg: as @william-brierty said, the latter has a quite staggering junior series record – he’s proven himself to be “the real deal” and if F1 really wants to call itself the top tier of motorsport, it needs the best drivers in the best cars. Since Maldonado is not the best driver available, logic should dictate he shouldn’t get the seat.

        @peartree Kevin Magnussen is confirmed at McLaren? Or are you implying that Perez is going to Lotus?

        • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 15th November 2013, 3:13

          @vettel1 If they sign Maldonado ( which looks increasingly likely every day ) , I will support FI over Lotus ( I never thought of supporting FI ;-) ) . Whoever gets Hulkenberg is lucky next year . I can still remember Brazil 2012 where he was storming past the Mclarens when it was damp .

      • jihelle said on 15th November 2013, 8:25

        @tifoso 1989: You’re pretty harsh on a team that took the risk of bringing Raikkonen back to F1 and Grosjean from the doldrums. If they sign Maldonado, it’s because he’s a GP winner and he’s trying hard (sometimes too hard). And may be Hulkenberg is waiting for a “better” opportunity at Red Bull, Ferrari, or Mercedes in 2015 when Ricciardo will be shown the door for lack of results, Alonso or Raikkonen will be ousted with a bag of cash and a promise not to come racing again for a couple of years and Hamilton or Rosberg will be hired to replace one or the other. Wait and See is sometimes a better option that rushing for the first available drive. Anyway, I think Lotus/Genii/Quantum will see what Kovalainen is worth before signing Maldonado or Hulkenberg. He’s the cheapest option available and, as you say, it’s all about capitalism.

    • @vettel1 It’s McLaren hence the Perez drop out.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 14th November 2013, 23:24

      @vettel1 Hulkenberg deserves to get a top driver over Maldonado, no question. But I just think that if he has the chance to remain at Sauber (if they can afford him) that would be better for him. With Lotus’ financial troubles and loss of key personnel, they may not be one of the top teams next year. It’s all pure speculation of course, but I think staying at Sauber opens the door for a 2015 move to McLaren or Ferrari. If he moves to Lotus, I can’t see him moving yet again for 2015. That would be 5 teams in 6 seasons – a bit too much movement.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 15th November 2013, 0:28

      No way Lotus will pull out with just Maldonado, with out going bankrupt before next March.

      They need Maldonado AND Telmex money. Total are not enough. Hulk will probably stay at Sauber with either Perez or Gutierezz. One of the Mexicans will pair Maldonado at Lotus :)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th November 2013, 6:26

      @vettel1 – If Maldonado gets the seat over Hulkenberg, everyone will rant and rage against it. But no-one will address the actual problem that created this scenario: the uncontrolled spending by teams. If Lotus choose Maldonado over Hulkenberg, it won’t be because they value money over talent – it will be because they need the money just to survive.

  2. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th November 2013, 18:12

    For sure I know.
    I have a couple of options.

    I think he knows nothing. I would be devastated if he ends up at Enstone. He should now go and pay some Swiss bills, because the Sirotkin thing went bust.

    • @verstappen I would be devastated if he ends up at Enstone

      Why? Maldonado is a proven F1 race winner.

      • i will also hate that he ends in lotus!!! hulkenberg to lotus please!!! maldonado can go to sauber…

      • Polishboy808 (@polishboy808) said on 15th November 2013, 3:35

        Maldonado is a proven race winner? Winning one race makes you a proven competitor? He had a nice race, but then what? His season only went down from there, and this season is even worse. He’s been matched by a rookie, and has lost all the glimmer that I saw in him last season. I used to defend him, but he hasn’t done anything to keep my interest, let alone merit a seat with Lotus.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 15th November 2013, 8:27

        @joepa I agree with you. Maldonado has often proved that he is geniunely quick. It’s not just his win but also the many excellent qualifying performances in 2012 when the car was up to the job. He also fared well against Barrichello in his debut season (2011), perhaps even better than Hulkenberg did in 2010. This year Maldonado has been much less erratic in 2012 so if he was given a quick car now, he might be able to score a huge amount of points.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th November 2013, 6:22

      @verstappen – Where is the evidence that Sauber’s deal with the Russians has collapsed? I can’t pin down even the meanest rumour amidst the least credible of sources, much less anything solid. Just this week Monisha Kaltenborn said the team will make a decision on Sirotkin soon. It sounds like a convenient story dreamed up by people opposed to Sirotkin’s presence.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th November 2013, 10:01

        Not sure about the deal, I guess its been going on in the background @prisoner-monkeys, but I have seen it mentioned that Sirotkin driving for them next year is not completely set in stone – IMO that is good, if they feel he won’t be up to it, its better to get someone else and have him do all FP1s to grow.

  3. Should have been a race winner again this year. Him and Bottas.

    I kinda want to see him at Lotus, but that’d put me in a very large minority of F1 fans – and there’s no guarantee that “Team 2012 Media Punching Bags” (with Grosjean) would still be fast without James Allison as TD. Nobody looks good in Force India white/green/orange, but they build decent midfield cars and could use a driver that actually maximizes the speed of the car…Sauber could use a more reliable source of funding if Sirotkin opts to stay another year in WSR.

    • Rockie said on 14th November 2013, 18:41

      You are not alone.
      That race win was thoroughly deserved against a driver like Alonso!

      • I’m not a rabid Maldonado fan but I was very happy for him to win that race and know first hand how much support the Venezuelan people give their sports heroes. Unless you’re living in a country like that where the success at elite level of one of their sportsmen enters much of the national consciousness, you can’t imagine how awesome it is! Venezuela is a rough place now since democracy there has been destroyed by Chavez and Cuban totalitarianism is becoming more entrenched (Cuban-style I mean), but Venezuelans still love their country’s sports heroes and Maldonado is one of them!

        • Funny you mention how bad Chavez was, when his administration was the one which indirectly gave Maldonado millions of Dollars that could have been spent on the ‘rough place’ that is Venezuela!

          And I quote from an article just after his win:
          With campaigning ongoing as Venezuela builds towards its election later this year, there remains opposition to the fact Maldonado’s F1 career is supported by the state-owned oil company PDVSA to the tune of ÂŁ27m per year.

          The belief is such considerable finances would be better served in assisting Venezuela’s infrastructure, such as building better roads and schools, rather than supporting one driver in a rich man’s sport.

          @joepa You are very wrong to defend his Formula 1-seat

          • Kimi4WDC said on 15th November 2013, 0:33

            No he is not. Considering how much money end up in pockets of people who “don’t” need them, even in our “developed” countries which are not less corrupt than Venezuela, just in a legalised manner. I would rather see a boy making it big and inspiring thousands than hearing about new Villa or Island latest celebrity or politician acquired.

          • My point is that ÂŁ27m per year could have been spent much better in a country like Venezuela, where almost 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty line. Those people don’t need a sporting hero (If anyone would dare to call Maldonado that), they need a place to live/food/education/…
            And I find it wrong that one guy from a ‘not-so-wealthy’ country should get that amount of money to drive (crash) a car…

          • You are very wrong to defend his Formula 1-seat

            @gdewild Dude, Maldonado won a race. … Unless you’re suggesting he didn’t? Or bought it? Or didn’t deserve it?

            I’d rather be no-talent Maldonado and have won a race than be talented Hulkenberg and not a race winner! (or worse, Di Resta lol)

            So? Chavez liked sponsoring Maldonado and Maldonado won a race (something that Hulkenberg hasn’t done)?

          • He deserved it, he did it and yes he bought it (by buying himself into Williams) ;-)

    • @rjoconnell Count me in too. F1 history shows how important it is to win a race, but some people are turning a blind eye to it, just because they don’t like him.

  4. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 14th November 2013, 18:22

    For sure.

  5. Broc Smith (@strifeforce) said on 14th November 2013, 18:24

    Pastor- “It’s very difficult to be stuck in the back and crashing into backmarkers all season. Hopefully next year i can move to Lotus where i will finally be able to crash with cars running up front again. I’ve really enjoyed crashing the blue and white, but i cannot wait for next year’s oppurtunity to crash the classic black and gold with my new teammate. I look forward to having the full support of my new team, and hopefully we will contend with the leaders next season before we crash them out”.

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th November 2013, 18:25

    That shows that F1 is so competitive these days that having a victory is nothing if they can’t keep momentum. Maldonado won in Spain, but after that his personal performances (according to the car) were then going down more often than not.
    It’ s in my opinion Maldonado is as good as Heiki, but not rated as high as Heiki (BTW what has Heikki trully proved to be so well regarded?)

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th November 2013, 22:21

      @omarr-pepper

      That shows that F1 is so competitive these days that having a victory is nothing if they can’t keep momentum.

      This is not the main reason why Maldonando was sacked from Williams and if it was he should have been sacked by the end of 2011 when he was not already a race winner.
      Even with his arrogant attitude (always criticizing the car when things are not going in his way and crashing sometimes) the only way for Williams to get rid of him is to replace him with a driver that brings the same amount of sponsorship, well Massa doesn’t guarantee the same amount of money that pastor brings but he is not that far in that aspect, the difference will be covered by the fact that Massa is more consistent and brings a lot of experience that will be valuable with the critical regs change and he will be also followed by Rob Smedly at the team

      It’ s in my opinion Maldonado is as good as Heiki, but not rated as high as Heiki

      Heiki is a very nice guy, Maldonado is arrogant as simple as that, he never admits his faults, when he crashes into other drivers and he keeps always saying that it was not his fault and it was a racing incident

  7. Hulkenberg getting stuck (again) in a midfield car would be like if Vettel never made it out of Toro Rosso. As much as I dislike his current dominance (not his fault), think what we would have missed if he never got a solid drive. Yes, he got a win and some solid performances but that was in a Newey car when Toro Rosso and RBR were much closer in performance; the two diverged quite sharply after that.

    Hulkenberg got pole in mixed conditions in Brazil in a mediocre Williams, has finished more than half his races in the points (including many DNFs) and has had 6 top five finishes in cars that really aren’t that great. If there are 4 good teams, roughly, every year for the past few years (some combination of RBR, FER, MCL, MER, LOT), that means in his best races he’s beating at least two solid teams on average.

    How much is a Formula 1 point worth at the end of the year? If a pay driver is bringing in X million Euro, but can’t get you many points and another driver can get you valuable points, it seems like a wash. He has paid his dues. Get him a good drive and everyone wins.

    • Rockie said on 14th November 2013, 18:44

      Don’t compare the Hulk and Vettel, Hulk has been good when the car is good and has been nowhere when the car is bad.
      The hype about Hulk comes from watching sky and Brundle keeps saying the same stuff all the time, if he was as good as Vettel a big team would have taken him.

      • I wouldn’t claim for a moment he was as good as Vettel, but then I think only 4 F1 drivers ever have been better. He’s very, very good though: unfortunate to have had to switch teams several times, but when he’s acclimatised he has been brilliant. Italy and Korea this year in particular were brilliant drives.

        • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 15th November 2013, 3:19

          @vettel1

          I wouldn’t claim for a moment he was as good as Vettel

          I claim he has the potential to be better than Vettel,Hamilton,Alonso . He is still young . He needs to be put in a STRONG TEAM to show his hand. Put him in a good car and lets see.

      • Timanders said on 14th November 2013, 20:40

        I watch on Italian TV and I think Hulkenberg is the real deal. Brundle has nothing to do with it. Go run up the steps in Philadelphia Mr. Balboa and it might clear your mind. See Hulk as the star he is. My opinion has always been that the top teams are afraid of Hulk. He’d out qualify Alonso at Ferrari, rock the boat at Redbull and McLaren are just dumb to take a rookie over him.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th November 2013, 22:30

        Don’t compare the Hulk and Vettel, Hulk has been good when the car is good and has been nowhere when the car is bad.

        That goes for almost all the drivers on the grid including Vettel, the only drivers that have proved to win in a mediocre cars are Fernando Alonso, Lewis hamilon & Kimi Raikkonen

        if he was as good as Vettel a big team would have taken him.

        By your logic Vettel himself would not have made it to F1 because he was beaten by Paul Di Resta in F3, BTW Nico Hulkenberg has a more impressive CV in Junior formulas than Sebastian Vettel & Lewis Hamilton, even if he’s not as good as a 4 times WDC,giving him a chance in a top team maybe will result in winning one time the WDC

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th November 2013, 3:53

          @tifoso1989

          That goes for almost all the drivers on the grid including Vettel, the only drivers that have proved to win in a mediocre cars are Fernando Alonso, Lewis hamilon & Kimi Raikkonen

          I can accept that all drivers’ results are affected by the peroformance of the car. But I inevitably disagree with the second point.

          The “mediocre car” Hamilton won in finished 3rd in the WCC. Alonso’s (2008) finished 4th. Raikkonen’s (2004) finished 5th. Vettel’s finished 6th.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th November 2013, 21:19

      I agree about Hulkenberg, but there’s no point in saying “but that was in a Newey car”, if the Newey car was just as mediocre as the 2010 Williams.

  8. Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 14th November 2013, 18:34

    Just leave F1 already Pastor, you’re very fast on one lap pace but absolutely no consistency and a poor temperament. At this point Pastor is just hogging a seat that could go to someone more talented. Imagine what some of the other drivers could of done with the Williams last year.

    • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 22:43

      One little swipe a Hamilton and a one or two crashes per season more than the average driver don’t half seem to cloud some people’s judgement. Bruno Senna is one of those ‘other drivers’ and Maldonado ran rings around him in 2012.

      • Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 14th November 2013, 23:35

        I’ve never been a fan of Bruno Senna or Lewis Hamilton, I just think he’s a average driver who has great 1 lap pace. He just can’t keep his composure to be a top driver and he’s been in F1 for 3 years now and hasn’t improved. There have been plenty of good-to-great drivers that have been discarded or not given the opportunity, Pastor’s had his chance it’s time to move on. The Williams 2012 car was a massive missed opportunity, i still have no idea why they didn’t drop Senna for Bottas mid season.

  9. Jihelle said on 14th November 2013, 18:37

    There were four impressive new drivers over the last four years: Kobayashi, Maldonado, Perez and Hulkenberg. Kobayashi is out, Perez on his way out, Maldonado and Hulkenberg are fighting over the Lotus seat. Meanwhile, Ricciardo (so boring), Sutil (so passé), Guttierez and Bottas (so unimpressive) are likely like to stay in F1 next year. For 30 years I watched every single single GP; this year I watched about half of them. I guess it will be one or two next year.

    • Bottas has been beating Maldonado, so I don’t understand how you can claim one is unimpresive and the other isn’t.

      Also, Ricciardo has been pretty solid, particularly in qualifying, and his racing has definely improved this season. He’s not Vettel, but he’s a good driver.

      • jihelle (@jihelle) said on 14th November 2013, 21:03

        Maldonado has won a GP for Williams, Bottas has done squat. Vettel Has won a GP when he was at Torro Rosso, Ricciardo has still to step on to a podium. Winning GP and driving hard, this is what I call impressive. otherwise, I am better off watching vintage racing.

        • Jake (@jleigh) said on 14th November 2013, 22:07

          For someone who has watched F1 for 30 years you seem to have a very poor, simplistic view of the sport.

          • jihelle said on 15th November 2013, 8:04

            Sorry my mistake, 40 not 30. My first GP was in Charade in 1972. The year Helmut Marko was injured because, oh my god !! there were stones on the track, not rubber pellets !!
            I am an old art, I know, but F1 was about racing these days and it was thrilling. There were as many paying drivers as today and the paid ones didn’t get zillions but it was so much more fun to watch. When watching Maldonado I can think of Pedro Rodriguez, when watching Bottas or Ricciardo or Gutierrez, well, let me think hard….

        • George (@george) said on 15th November 2013, 0:42

          @jihelle
          Maldonado won that GP with a different car though. How can you say Bottas should have won a GP when Maldonado has only scored one point in the same car?

          • jihelle said on 15th November 2013, 7:53

            I have a very simplistic benchmark. When given a car, a driver should make the best of it and sometimes, lo and behold, he wins a GP. Not very many do it and whoever does it deserves a place in F1, whether be Gethin, Panis, Trulli, Kovalainen, Maldonado or… Vettel. Then you can say his team mate was crap and that he got lucky but nonetheless he is a GP winner and will be remembered as such. F1 is turning into a very boring business because a lot of drivers are simply not trying or, worse, when trying, punished. I remain more impressed by the drives Perez, Hulkenberg, Maldonado or Kobayashi gave us over the last three years than by any drive Ricciardo, Bottas, Gutierrez offered us this year. But as everyone knows, it’s the car that counts today and the driver is simply asked not to break it.

        • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 16th November 2013, 9:42

          I guess you had a good look at the results only rather than watching races.

      • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 14th November 2013, 23:36

        I must admit I think Bottas has been quite unimpressive this season considering how highly he is rated, as has Maldonado. I know the car is awful, and Bottas has done well against Maldonado in qualifying, but in races Maldonado generally beats Bottas and looks like the only driver who could sneak a point (like in Hungary). Bottas just seems to be nowhere in the races. I think we need to see more from him next year.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 15th November 2013, 0:40

      I must admit it too, I had such expectations for Bottas, but he turned out to be another very quick F1 driver, not Raikkonen. Hopefully it’s the car, but then again, legends tend to make an impression regardless the car.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th November 2013, 10:06

      @jihelle – I think its unfair to hold Maldonado’s win against Bottas here. If you recall, Maldonado’s teammate was punished for not living up to expectations by losing his seat, it was Bruno Senna.

      You can hardly expect Bottas to equal the best result of last season with this years car when it is far worse. He did get that car on the 2nd row for Canada though, and held on as best as he could, so I would certainly hesitate to say he is unimpressive for not winning anything (What did his more experienced team mate – a race winnner non the less – achieve with that car?).

      • jihelle (@jihelle) said on 15th November 2013, 10:18

        The fact is that Maldonado is leaving Williams (and not the opposite) because Williams is, sadly, sinking into oblivion and his win last year for them may be the last for the team ever. I am quite surprised to see the level of flak Maldonado gets on this site as, once again, he is a GP winner and has shown a lot of bravery fighting with this year FW35. I didn’t see such gusto from Bottas. Any team owner should be interested in Maldonado, not so much because of the money he is said to bring along but because he is a GP winner and can fight his way through the pack. IMHO.

    • I can understand your view, and I agree with it in many ways. I was hooked to F1 after watching Emerson win Monza en 1972, on a black and white TV. That drive was a piece of art. So yes, 40 years ago.
      Regarding Maldonado, he is fast. No question about it. And regarding the comments about “Crashdonado”, all we have to do is to read the comments on this very blog about Grosjean last year and compare them with the comments about Grosjean in the last few races: seems difficult to believe that the same commentators were talking about the same driver. So, drivers evolve, and I believe that Pastor has improved as a racer. Lotus needs lots of cash, to develop the car for 2014 AND to pay Kimi. Next season we will see new cars and new technology. Maldonado has the speed, the cash and he appears to be evolving as a racer.
      I can’t see why a team with Grosjean and Maldonado could be bad for Lotus, really.

  10. Sam (@) said on 14th November 2013, 19:27

    Maldonado has been a curse for Williams. There were plenty of pay-drivers in the ocean at the time.

    • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 14th November 2013, 23:22

      Pay drivers with such talent?

    • @ardenflo – Maldonado has been a curse for Williams.

      HA! Yeah right! If by curse you mean “the driver who’s delivered once-great Williams team’s ONLY WIN in 8 years!” lol…

    • @ardenflo

      Maldonado has been a curse for Williams

      Man you have a very poor knowledge of F1

    • Sam (@) said on 15th November 2013, 16:20

      I think in the first place they should not have sacked HĂĽlkenberg in 2010. Maldonado lured Williams in with cash. I really think Williams would be further now with Barrichello/HĂĽlkenberg for 2011/2012 and this year HĂĽlkenberg/Bottas.

      That one win really represents nothing, it was a total fluke. A lucky shot.

      I admit, that Maldonado is the best a team can get in they want a pay-driver though. But bringing money can be a curse aswell.

  11. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 14th November 2013, 19:29

    Maldonado gives interviews kind of like how he drives, a bit erratic. In another interview he said he was happy to be leaving Williams and that he did more for the team than they did for him. He also implied it is the team’s fault that his talent has been forgotten.

    While I can understand some of his feelings about the underperforming Williams of this season, his overall attitude and lack of grace make him appear rather unprofessional. I think the most attractive thing about Maldonado to prospective teams is his sponsor money. Why hasn’t Lotus signed him already instead of waiting to see what happens with Hulkenberg and their financial deal with Quantum? I think Maldonado will end up where Hulkenberg doesn’t. Meaning, Hulkenberg is the more desirable driver if the team that signs him can get all their ducks in a row or take Maldonado as their second choice.

  12. javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 14th November 2013, 20:09

    I love how MAL makes out that this was his decision.
    Just give in Pastore, to into that long good night…

    • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 14th November 2013, 22:41

      +1 Maldonado probably didn’t want to leave. It’s like when he drives into someone else and then blames them. His ego has held him back from reality many times before, so I think this is any different this time. I expect that they politely told him it was time to go, so he has spun another story to make it look like it was his decision. Is he so insecure? Naw, just out of touch. If Sergio is looking for a seat and I had a team, I know who I would choose. So long Pastor, and thanks for all the uncomfortable memories. Now I can start cheering for Williams full time again.

  13. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th November 2013, 20:18

    Don’t you dare, Lotus ! Don’t you dare !

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th November 2013, 20:47

    There is definitely a lot more going on in the background than we know – there seems to be a lot, A LOT, of tension between the two parties.

  15. Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 14th November 2013, 21:03

    If I ever see maldonado on the F1 grid again it will be too soon.

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