Pastor Maldonado Signs Williams F1 Deal for 2011 - Report

Less than a year ago, Sir Frank Williams told the media that he doesn't want to go over the same experience he had with Nico Rosberg ever again. Translated into common knowledge, he hated that he had to lose such a good driver because of his failure to sign him for a longer period of time. So he replaced him with Nico Hulkenberg, the German driver whom many considered the “next Schumacher” and who had the shortest run to the GP2 title in the history of the series, for a multi-year contract.

Little did Williams know that financial difficulties will make him brake that promise. Of course, nothing is yet official, but according to the electronic version of Brazil's Grande Premio publication, Warm Up, cited by the GMM news agency, it seems that Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan driver who won the GP2 title this year, has already signed a deal with the Grove based team.

According to the report, the deal was signed during the second week of October, in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, “in the presence of a top official of the Grove based team and Maldonado's sponsor PDVSA, the state-owned petroleum company.”

PDVSA will therefore substitute (financially speaking) current Williams F1 sponsors such as RBS, Philips, AirAsia and McGregor, which are set to end their partnership deals with the Grove organization at the end of this season. Finally, the reportedly sum of money PDVSA will use to back 25-year old Maldonado in F1 will be EUR15 million.

Needless to say, neither of the two parties confirmed the news up to this point.

Recent reports about Williams' poor financial status have surfaced in the media in recent weeks, despite co-owner Christian 'Toto' Wolff – who currently holds 10 percent of the team – telling otherwise.

If you look at the last 12 months, 2009 for us was a good and very profitable year,” he insisted.
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