Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2013

Williams refute Maldonado car tampering claims

2013 United States Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    16th November 2013, 20:50

    Just drop him for the last race and use a young driver, I think everyone has had enough of Maldonado.

  2. If Lotus are looking for money at least they should hire Perez. I’m done with this guy…

    1. I was thinking that. Perez’s telecommunication sponsors won’t have the issues that PDVSA would have with Total. Perez is, in my opinion, a much better driver, and a much nicer person. I’d rather Hulkenberg got the seat, if it weren’t based on money, Perez and Di Resta (who I rate about equal) after Hulk.

  3. I’m not a fan of his fast, inconsistent and agressive driving. But having such a bad attitude makes it even worse.
    I’d love to see him barging people off the track in another series next year(or none at all) but sadly we seem to be stuck with him for another year.

  4. What would happen to you if you said these things in a normal job?I think they should sack PM for the last race, absolutely disgraceful comments.

    1. They could put Susie Wolff in the seat for Brazil, that would be fun.

      1. @hunocsi That is a good suggestion, though I would not put her in the race, at least give her FP1

        1. But if it’s a chaotic race, they could use the woman’s intuition :)

          1. This would be a wonderful idea. Would give a lovely woman a chance and something interesting for others to see and write about. And no disrespect to Wolff, but I don`t see this doing any harm to Williams` 2013 season.

            But, quite sure that “bird watchers” from Venezuela have something to say about this. And this would not happen.

      2. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but does she presently hold a super license?

      3. @hunocsi
        Hopefully not. She has proved nothing, in any racing series, that she is even remotely on par with even the worst F1 driver currently on the grid.
        While I would love to see Maldonardo replaced as soon as possible, it shouldn’t be for Susie. Much rather a young driver with actual talent, who could have an F1 career ahead of him. There are plenty of those waiting for a drive.

        1. @mads
          I said it like a bit of a joke, but if you think about it, it would be interesting to see. There have been a lot of talk in the last years whether or not women would be able to cope with the challenge of racing an F1 car. Last race of the year, which probably won’t matter too much for the team. I would be intrigued of her performance.

          1. @hunocsi
            The reason I would hate to see her in an F1 car, is that she would ‘prove’ that all her doubters were right.
            Anyone who ever said that a woman can’t drive an F1 car would be able to point at her result, and say they were right.

          2. @mads
            So not even give her the chance? Then she can’t prove anything.

          3. @hunocsi
            Yep. Rather she just stay away, and don’t end up making female racing drivers look ridiculous. You can’t force a female F1 driver to happen. It is going to happen, when the right gal comes along. And that isn’t Susie. She simply hasn’t shown anything to qualify her for a F1 drive.
            They might as well drop my mother in the car.
            It would be a lot more fair to give the chance to someone who actually has talent, and potential, and isn’t close to F1 driver retirement age anyway.

  5. James (@jamesjames123abc)
    16th November 2013, 21:15

    Last year, Maldonado’s aggression came from inside the car. This year, it’s now coming from outside the car. I thought he’d turned a corner at the start of the season where he wasn’t involved in any silly incidents (ie. crashing with other cars) but all the respect I’d gained for him from that has been wiped away in an instant.

  6. Whether this is true, partly true or not, it is absolutely unprofessional.

  7. He really is a wonderful representative for Venezuela, money well spent.

  8. He bitched about the car the whole season instead of pushing in development (also the lack of development may have ****** of him), maybe someone at the team thought he deserved to crawl and make him look really bad. Not saying this was the case but its posible.

  9. He deserves it then… his mechanics probably had enough ! How many front wings, or damage, have they been fixing over the past 3 years? neither Rubens, nor Senna nor Bottas has done to Williams cars what Maldonado did. That side of the garage is probably too tired for more.

    ANd he then goes and says he is “happy to leave the team”. Yeah, his mechanics will take it well…

  10. Glock in the Williams at Interlagos is my dream!

  11. I couldn’t believe the arrogance in his voice and all over his face in the interview. What a sore loser. As a Williams fan, I can’t wait to see the back of him – I would probably rather see Susie Wolff in that car for the last race! I’m hoping that Pastors potential bosses are watching that interview and wondering if it’s worth the sponsorship money. Accusing your team of tampering with your car is hugely insulting, especially to a team with a history like Williams. Good riddance, Pastor – great job Bottas (apart from that last Q3 lap!!)

  12. Watching Ted Kravitz’ quali notebook on Sky, he said that what Pastor meant was that the team sent him out in traffic, which prevented him from getting the tyre temperatures and pressures right. I’m not so sure, but it wouldn’t make much difference if that was what he meant – it’s still very unprofessional.

  13. Did anyone see him grinning when he said it? what an arrogant little **** to just chuck a couple of grenades into the media because his team mate is faster than him. William’s would never do that, maybe they’re focusing more on Bottas, but that’s because he isn’t leaving! I feel more and more like he’s going to get Hulk’s seat, but no one will like him, and neither will the team. I just hope one day he realises people want his money and not him. He’s had a few good performances, but he’s inconsistent, erratic, has been downright dangerous and is an incredibly rude, unpleasant person. Rant over.

  14. It’s a shame, because he has proved on many occasions he’s a very quick driver. A change in attitude would help him on and off the track in, and in my opinion, make him a more complete driver. It just stinks – I can’t believe how he thinks the comments he’s made in the last few weeks will make him look like a good prospect for any team. Even simply telling his colleague ‘that’s racing’ and nothing more after that totally haphazard move at end of the Japanese Grand Prix. Sadly, I think money will prevail – which feels weird to say, because he has the speed to back it up.

  15. why are williams tampering with maldo’s car?

    1. They most likely haven’t before.

      But after this…

  16. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    17th November 2013, 2:18

    The best thing for Lotus right now would be to take Checo and his Mexican Pesos (assuming that he still has the backing?)… Stay FAR FAR FAR away from the Maldonado train wreck!!

  17. @keithcollantine

    Maldonado took 18th on the grid and will start nine place behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, who reached Q1.

    Shouldn’t that be Q3?

  18. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    17th November 2013, 4:24

    I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing him come in for a pitstop during the race, and his mechanics just don’t show up.

    1. @tophercheese21
      Yeah that would be quite a signal!
      I wouldn’t even feel remotely sorry for him. What a terrible job it must be to work hours and hours on some ones car, who then accuses you of messing it up on purpose because he wasn’t able to drive it quickly. I would be absolutely furious.

  19. Not the first time a fiery latin driver has accused their own team of sabotage. At least Maldonado won’t request a member of the Venezualan motorsport body to act as an observer to ensure no further foul play takes place.

    1. Ahh nice one.

      I clearly remember Clare Williams saying that Williams is racing against Pastor

      Ohhh wait, was that Ron Dennis on Alonso?

      1. Which is completely misinterpreted.

  20. i’m no maldonado fan, but actually things like tampering a car when a driver is gonna leave the team aren’t that unusual in f1.
    surely we don’t know for sure, but come on. big difference between him and bottas.
    2 cases: bottas is suddenly the new vettel, maldonado is suddenly much slower than bottas.
    strange things on maldonado’s car

    I think lotus has done something like that recently because they had to experiment new components for 2014 only on romain’s car.

    Also massa’s lap is pretty strange.

    all of them were as fast as their team mate or even faster(raikkonen) before they said they would have left the team at the end of the season.
    raikkonen, maldonado and massa.

    1. things like tampering a car when a driver is gonna leave the team aren’t that unusual in F1.

      Any examples?

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