Williams refute Maldonado car tampering claims

2013 United States Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Williams strongly denied claims from driver Pastor Maldonado that his car had been tampered with after his ejection from qualifying in Q1.

Maldonado took 18th on the grid and will start nine place behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, who reached Q3.

“It was quite a hard beginning of the weekend,” Maldonado told Sky. “Yesterday, even this morning, in quali even worse. I think I never got the hundred percent form the tyres.”

“I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure, temperature, is not that clear. But, yeah, one more race to go so, great.”

Asked what was wrong with his car Maldonado said: “It’s difficult to say. I think you need to ask the team, to the guys who are working in the car. It’s quite clear.”

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams refuted Maldonado’s claims, saying: “Never in Williams, in our experience and our history, would we ever do anything like that.”

“I think qualifying’s always a big adrenaline rush for drivers,” she added. “I’m not surprised by that but people say things after these kind of situations.”

“We have to go back, we’ll go and talk to the engineers and see what happened.”

Maldonado confirmed earlier this weekend he is leaving the team of his own choosing after a poor season in which he scored their only point so far.

“Within the team, when we’re behind closed doors, it’s not acrimonious,” said Williams. “Not that kind of atmosphere within the team.”

“As I said after qualifying people can get emotional and that’s fine. But I don’t see any kind of issue. Pastor, he has said he wants to go to another team and that’s completely fine, drivers do that, this is Formula One it’s the nature of our business.”

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126 comments on Williams refute Maldonado car tampering claims

  1. I can’t stang how arrogant and impolite Pastor is. The car is a disaster, yes. But to suggest the team is boycotting his car is so immature. I really hope he learns to be more humble and to accepts his share of blame for the bad results.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2013, 20:22

      I find it strange that Maldonado never actually accuses the team of tampering with his car, but that the team interpret it that way. If he feels that elements are being changed without his being consulted, then it wouldn’t be the first time it has happened. I remember Vitaly Petrov commenting that Renault used to ignore his input when it came to setting up the car, so it seems like teams do do it occasionally.

      • How do you interpret this?

        think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure, temperature, is not that clear.


        Asked what was wrong with his car Maldonado said: “It’s difficult to say. I think you need to ask the team, to the guys who are working in the car. It’s quite clear.”

      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 17th November 2013, 14:06

        Exactly, on his out-lap in Q1 we heard Hulkenberg say to his team “you changed the brakes?”, “not changed, just different”, “oh, you could have told me!”. Maldonado and the team know they are going their separate ways and it’s quite understandable that information would not be flowing between the two as freely as it would have been earlier in the year.

        Reading some of the comments on here you would think Pastor had tipped Sir Frank out of his wheelchair.

      • @prisoner-monkeys Yes Maldonado does question his team about that subject, that interview was made by Natalie from Sky. Nevertheless that shouldn’t undermine Bottas good job, imagine if both had been capable of the same, more publicity, and better results for the team.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 16th November 2013, 20:50

      It is insulting that the Williams team has to endure such charges from someone with such a lack of grace, humility or decency. If there is a way for Williams to remove Maldonado before the next race without damaging themselves financially, I would cheer if they did it. I would be glad if they found anyone other than Madonado to fill the seat for the next race.

      • Anthony (@lagerstars) said on 17th November 2013, 13:13


      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 17th November 2013, 15:10

        -10000000, how do you explain the 1.4 second difference then? MAL and BOT have been very even all season long, now after confirming his exit and saying “I have done more for the team than they have for me” there is suddenly a huge performance difference between Maldonado and his teammate.

        Smacks of the team ‘freezing him out’ to me, and he’s quite entitled to feel aggrieved about it.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 16th November 2013, 20:51

      Also, Bottas played a great game today, which adds to the arrogance of Pastor IMO. I really hope he won’t get that lotus seat.

      • +1!!!

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2013, 8:53


        Maldonado is, what we call in india, a ‘chut’.
        His antics of intentionally crashing into drivers, showing no respect for his rivals and inability to handle being beaten by his teammate show that he has is of low intellectual and moral fiber.

        On top of that he doesn’t have all that much talent to make up for it. I wouldn’t miss him at all if her wasn’t on the grid next year.

        Williams deserve better than this pun k

    • @omarr-pepper Agreed what he said was quite umm ‘un-professional’…but have you seen the interview? Pastor was chuckling while making the statement, he was trying to imply that the team did sabotage his car, but he didn’t utter those words… We all know how much politics is inside F1, but seldom do people display the acrimony. Pastor just tried to be Frank, coz well, he has nothing to lose.. I am sure if Webber had said things like this, the reaction here would have been quite different. However as an F1F, I do condemn Pastor’s attitude here.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 16th November 2013, 21:47

        I haven’t seen it.
        But from Williams’ response it seems they didn’t think he was joking.

        If only this man had some more brainpower to his speed, he would’ve been sensational. Stupid *******.

    • Beto (@chebeto0) said on 16th November 2013, 21:44

      @omarr-pepper As a latin american, I think you probably also want to see our guys do good and we try to defend some errors that they make. But for Maldonado I always had to hold myself and be quiet. I had not very often something good to say about him because I think his brilliant speed was almost always overshadowed by his unprofessionalism in and out of the track. I can’t stand what he says every time he speaks, it makes me quite angry more often than not.

    • Andrei (@andrei) said on 16th November 2013, 22:17

      @omarr-pepper I also heard Maldonado statements (in Spanish, as I suppose you did). It’s a little too much to say he said that the team is boycotting his car. When I heard his words, I understood that he was implying that the team was experimenting with it.
      Maldonado can have a bad day, but lap time difference with Bottas is huge. I don’t understand why there’s not a chance that Williams would want to test experimental setups to gain some advantage in the next year.
      Or maybe they tried some strong changes and it didn’t work. They are not Red Bull after all. I don’t think it’s a big deal, and I don’t think that Maldonado claims were too harsh. He knows for sure that Williams will not lose championship points because of a vengeance.

      • raptor22 said on 17th November 2013, 5:09

        Williams have been accused of car tampering by previous drivers. This is not news….

        • dimitris said on 17th November 2013, 7:25

          Teams do tamper with cars if they want to favour or punish a driver. I remember Eddie Jordan saying in an interview a few years back that, in contrast to other team owners, he was always honest with his drivers, never gave them a set of defective tyres, tamper somehow with the set up of the car, take a long time to solve an issue, etc. I do not know if Williams deliberaterly tampered with Maldonaldo’s car, but even if they did, or did not do what had to be done to make the car competitive, he should not accuse them of doing so unless he has proof.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 17th November 2013, 12:33

      Maldonado is just so …… I can’t find the word ……. something superlative to immature …no better …..atrocious,haughty . Really ? sabotage ? This is stupid Pastor . Maybe what he says might be even true . But that is not the way to say it man !

      Frankly speaking, he brought this on himself . The countless occasions he has crashed . The unwarranted tussle in Suzuka . Maybe williams guys feel the don’t need these two battling close to each other as he can wreck their chances for points . Maybe . Tamper with his tyres ? I don’t think so . After all there are lesser obvious ways to do it if they really wan’t to . And second , they would want to score as many points as possible for they are not idiots like Pastor . Really man . Even your fans would hate to see this .

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 17th November 2013, 13:43

        Is the word you’re looking for ‘narcissistic ‘ by any chance. Writing as someone with experience of it, he shows all the hallmarks of NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) . He has my pity because people with thus condition are blissfully ignorant of how unpleasant they are to be around.

  2. Sam (@) said on 16th November 2013, 20:10

    2 things we want out of F1, Pastor Maldonado and DRS.

    • baldgye (@baldgye) said on 16th November 2013, 20:12

      The only reason he even has a drive is becasue of his parents money…

    • We want more, but for the start it will be enough!

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 16th November 2013, 20:32

      He could have said tons of things but he decided to attack his team… wow! I mean, it’s frustrating to see your teammate doing well while your performance sucks but Pastor should think before he opens his mouth. The guy is a decent driver but needs to chill a bit and stop acting like he’s a top driver, I doubt he could be in contention for a seat if he didn’t come with tons of petrodollars…

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th November 2013, 20:37

      With him out of F1 we would be left with a bunch of gentlemen. It would be a complete snore-fest (more-so than it is already). Maldonado is the evil ******* who provides us with entertainment!

  3. 72defender (@72defender) said on 16th November 2013, 20:13

    Pastor is an idiot. To insinuate Williams, one of the most respected teams, and by extension respected people in Sir Frank, is absolute rubbish. I hope by this he just signed his own death warrant out if F1.

  4. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 16th November 2013, 20:15

    Maldonado just needs to leave, he is an embarrassment to the sport

  5. Mr win or lose said on 16th November 2013, 20:16

    Maldonado is not that bad. He’s just being himself, not an “everything’s going well” PR robot. And besides he is fast. I think we need more “characters” in the F1.

    • C’mon, don’t transforms him in the next “independent as Webber” hero

    • “Character” isn’t the equal of an idiot. Even the greatest drivers have no right to act like ********. And he’s not even on the list.

    • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 16th November 2013, 20:21

      thats why Bottas has out qualified him this season right?

    • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 16th November 2013, 20:22

      He’s just being himself

      And he happens to be a bitter, arrogant person who likes to make baseless accusations.

      • How ironic. You do not provide anything whatsoever that in anyway prove his statement wrong/inaccurate, yet you are stating that he is an “arrogant person who likes to make baseless accusations…

        I never liked MAL for different reasons but for me, his statement is much more relevant in this particular instance than yours. He is an insider at Williams and he can point to the actual historical results against those of Bottas and claim that this huge time difference does not make sence. And that 1.4s or whatever difference is real and does not come from void. Last but not least that points toward something really is fishy at Williams is the completely generic statements that Williams team boss made in response…

        • Skett (@skett) said on 17th November 2013, 12:24

          However you look at it he never should have made those comments. Totally unprofessional. Plus he never got a clean lap, so you can’t really compare the times.

          If he wanted to complain that the team was at fault for that would be one thing, to claim that they’re sabotaging his car (which for those of us who actually saw the interview was quite clear that was what he meant) is a step to far really

          • “However you look at it he never should have made those comments.”

            I agree with you on this as it would not gain him anything at the end, and risk/damage how other people/teams perceive him. I am sure he made them in the heat of the moment. Having that said and ignoring the PR/political aspect of it, I applaud him for having the courage (or stupidity however you like to see it) to have made them publicly if he really believes that is the case.

            ” to claim that they’re sabotaging his car […] is a step to far really”
            Really? Even if he was certain that was the case? Why?

        • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 17th November 2013, 13:46

          Or Bottas hit the sweet spot like he did in Canada and Maldonado can’t swallow it.

        • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 17th November 2013, 14:33

          Exactly, “Maldonado might be fast but he crashes too much, migh be fast but he’s totally unprofessional, blah blah blah….”. How can anyone explain the 1.4 second difference to his teammate, especially since Maldonado is in the shop window regarding a drive for next season. Smells fishy to me, a little like Eddie Irvine’s mysterious lack of pace at Suzuka in ’99 when he was in with a shout of beating Schumi to the first Ferrari driver’s title since ’79.

          The situation seems a little like in football when a player expresses his intention to leave a club and then gets sent to train with the youth team.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th November 2013, 20:25

      Characters who accuse their team of tampering with their car? Perhaps you’re right, it’s fun to have drivers to hate after all.

  6. McLarenfan said on 16th November 2013, 20:17

    Maldonado needs a check up from the neck up he looked psychotic being interviewed by Nat Pinks.
    I am sure he is off his meds.
    Williams need the points so they wouldn’t tamper with their car as they want both to try and get some points.

  7. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th November 2013, 20:18

    Maldonado has the most horrible attitude and arrogance of any driver since I can remember.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2013, 20:30

      Reading his comments both here and in recent days, I have to respect him on one tiny front: he can admit that his relationship with the team has broken down. It’s been fragile for some time now, but at least he’s willing to talk – even if he has to be covert about it. Looking at Claire Williams’ comments, she evidently wants to present the team as a cohesive, profession unit and not the dysfunctional mess that it currently is. At the very least, Maldonado’s accusation makes it clear that something is seriously wrong in Grove, and has been for some time – which is something that nobody seems to be willing to talk about.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 16th November 2013, 20:40

      Totally agree. I have gone from being somewhat interested in him as a driver to totally turned off. His poor on track performance this season is eclipsed only by his off track performance. Any future team thinking of signing this guy, please take note of his comments from this weekend so far. If things go wrong, your team will be blamed and accused of sabotage while he will take credit for anything that has gone right. Is his sponsorship money worth the cost of his toxic personality? I don’t think so.

  8. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 16th November 2013, 20:18

    Screw him and his money.

  9. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 16th November 2013, 20:20

    Never thought there was a person more arrogant then Vettel in F1. I really hope the Venezuelan goverment descides to put their money to better use isntead of this wanabe F1 driver. That one win last year has given this man way to much confidence in his abilities. Bottas has mastered the ols system much better then him, there is no harm in accepting that.

    • Tucker (@tuckeratlarge) said on 16th November 2013, 20:34

      You can be as arrogant as you like when you’ve won four world championships. Pastor drives like an idiot. His car is a bit down on development, but that is no excuse to bad mouth the team. If you’re not fast enough try harder or go home. Rich boys think it’s a right to be in F1. His attitude does not reflect his results, same with DiResta.

    • TheBass (@) said on 16th November 2013, 20:36


      Never thought there was a person more arrogant then Vettel in F1.

      LOL. Did you start following F1 this year or something? Vettel’s record of “arrogance” is catholic in comparison to tens of drivers in history of F1.

      I mean, I know we HAVE to hate Vettel, so that means he’s the most *everything negative* in history, but even then arrogance is pushing it too far.

    • Vettel is more arrogant than, say, Alonso? Or Hamilton?

    • @force-maikel what does “arrogance” mean to you? Rising the index finger? Multi21? Wow, that the worst sin I’ve ever seen in F1, much worse than twitting telemetry of your team (Hamilton), damaging your partner’s strategy in qualifying (Alonso on Hamilton), going running to say your own team is cheating (Alonso again) or trying to get titles crashing your oponents (Senna, Schumacher). That Vettel you see should burn in hell. The one I see is winning championships, 4 times in a rowWWWWWWWWWWWW.

  10. Oh the teams won’t be lining up to hire him after that remark, what an arrogant little twep

  11. Williams should suspend him for the last race…

    • Andreas said on 16th November 2013, 21:27

      Now, that would be an interesting turn of events… Susie Wolff in Brazil, anyone?

      I doubt it would happen, but then again, it wouldn’t be the first time a driver got in trouble for speaking without thinking first, though – remember Prost vs the Ferrari that best compared to a truck? Of course, that time it was probably true :-)

      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 17th November 2013, 14:20

        Please no! That half scotch, half German accent has a strange effect on me, quite like someone running their nails down a blackboard.

  12. jhr9988 (@rhj8899) said on 16th November 2013, 20:24

    Honestly, what a disgusting attitude. I wonder what’s inside his mechanics, engineers, basically anyone who builds that car mind right now hearing that sort of words from your driver

  13. Slava (@) said on 16th November 2013, 20:25

    Why team would do that with their driver?
    Maldonado now proved that he is terrible both as a person and as a racer.

  14. It is easy to pick on Maldonado. In this “sport” anything is possible.

  15. Grosjean is going to wish Kimi back, if he get’s this guy as his team mate next season! This guy is going to bulldoze him on track (literally run him over probably) and off the track!

  16. Girts (@girts) said on 16th November 2013, 20:31

    Maldonado’s statement is obviously untrue and it’s sad that he is not able to end the relationship with the team in dignity. Still, F1 is neither a beauty contest nor a charity event so Maldonado’s attitude is not the reason why he should or should not be in F1. Drivers should be chosen on talent and skills alone. While his qualifying performance today was a disaster, Maldonado has often shown promising speed this year. In my opinion, he still deserves to be in a midfield team next year, too.

    • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 16th November 2013, 20:35

      “Drivers should be chosen on talent and skills alone”

      it was PDVSA that got him the Williams drive, and they’re the ones that are trying to find him a 2014 drive. If what you said was true, we would have a different grid.

      • Indeed and Lotus would have inked Hülkenberg by now.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 16th November 2013, 21:27

        I agree but the fact that Maldonado, 2010 GP2 champion, needed sponsors to get an F1 drive doesn’t mean that he didn’t deserve to be in F1 on merit. If Hulkenberg now got some sponsorship money that would guarantee him a race seat at Lotus, we wouldn’t say that he doesn’t deserve the drive just because there’s money involved.

        • Maldonado is fast on a good day, but may be he “drops the ball” mentally when it’s a more difficult day? Consistency is a valuable asset and it starts with keeping your nerves in check.

  17. JCost (@jcost) said on 16th November 2013, 20:34

    Pastor should just ask PDVSA to buy Bottas engineers… mone talks right, Pastor?

  18. Makana (@makana) said on 16th November 2013, 20:42

    Lotus will be the biggest knobs in F1 if they hire this clown.

  19. dgzalnd said on 16th November 2013, 20:42

    In this “sport” where teams cheat, steal, cause accidents anything and everything is possible.

  20. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 16th November 2013, 20:50

    To be honest, on the basis of the great improvement Williams showed in 2012 after the woeful 2011 season, I hoped Williams could make one more step forward and get close to the top guys, with a wish for Maldonado to be good this year – I know, he crashed a lot last year, but also performed very well in Spain, Singapore or Abu Dhabi for example, so I really wanted him to get his act together, because his raw speed is excellent, and if he drove clear, his aggressive style would put him up in the top.

    Sadly, Williams couldn’t produce a good car for this year, that happens – like with McLaren. But how Maldonado has handled the situation with the interviews throughout the year, but especially this week, to say the least it annoys me very much. How can a man so talented say such stupid things like his team didn’t do as much for him as he did for them, or that they play with his car? It’s unbelievable. I am very disappointed with him and though I can’t say I was a fan of him, from now on I won’t support him at all.

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