On the same day that the rumour broke about Ross Brawn leaving Mercedes, another credible rumour engulfed the paddock when it emerged that Pastor Maldonado and PDVSA, the Venezulean oil company that sponsors the 28-year-old, are in the final stages of negotiating the deal that will see the one-time race winner leave Williams, the team he has been with since he entered the sport in 2011.
Maldonado won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix but has otherwise experienced a far from fruitful Formula One career, with his race win standing as his only podium to date. The long-awaited Williams revival has failed to materialised and it seems that Maldonado has grown weary of having to fight tooth and nail to simply make it out of Q1 during Qualifying.
It’s believed that Maldonado is looking for a seat with Lotus, and hopes that his £20 million a year backing can help him into the Enstone based outfit. However, Lotus are currently in talks with another sponsor, who are untied to any driver, and securing this sponsorship would allow them to put Nico Hulkenberg in their car, instead of Maldonado. Other possible seats could arise at Force India or cash-strapped Sauber.
Maldonado’s successful buy-in at Lotus would be good news for Felipe Massa fans as the recently redundant Brazilian would be given the option of a drive at Williams.