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. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 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.

  7. NickF12013 (@nickf12013) said on 16th November 2013, 20:59

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

    • Jack (@jmc200) said on 16th November 2013, 22:40

      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.

  8. Valentin (@wally02avg) said on 16th November 2013, 21:01

    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.

  9. 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.

    • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 16th November 2013, 21:04

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

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

        • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 16th November 2013, 21:29

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

          • Jaanus (@jaanusl) said on 17th November 2013, 9:06

            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.

      • Skett (@skett) said on 17th November 2013, 12:41

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

      • @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.

        • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 17th November 2013, 18:08

          @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.

          • @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.

          • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 17th November 2013, 18:40

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

          • @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.

  10. James (@jamesjames123abc) said on 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.

  11. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 16th November 2013, 21:22

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

  12. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 16th November 2013, 21:28

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

  13. JP Valverde said on 16th November 2013, 21:48

    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.

  14. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 16th November 2013, 22:02

    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…

  15. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 16th November 2013, 22:23

    Glock in the Williams at Interlagos is my dream!

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