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. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 16th November 2013, 22:28

    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!!)

  2. Andreas said on 16th November 2013, 22:29

    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.

  3. Jack (@jmc200) said on 16th November 2013, 22:35

    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.

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th November 2013, 22:39

    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.

  5. Jono (@me262) said on 17th November 2013, 1:18

    why are williams tampering with maldo’s car?

  6. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 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!!

  7. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 17th November 2013, 2:55


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

    Shouldn’t that be Q3?

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

    • @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.

  9. sandy (@sandy) said on 17th November 2013, 6:17

    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.

  10. myranda said on 17th November 2013, 15:35

    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.

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