(Michel Le Meur DPPI/ for Renault Sport F1)
The Lotus F1 Team's Pastor Maldonado has confirmed that his Formula One future is secure amid media reports to the contrary after Venezuela's new sports minister, Antonio Alvarez said:
'There will not be another dollar for motorsport.' Alvarez went on to say: 'it is unfair to use state money in disciplines that do not contribute to the development of sport in this country'
Maldonado has stated however that his Formula One career is safe due to the fact that the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA are not his sponsor but a sponsor of the Lotus F1 Team and that they have followed him to the Enstone outfit.
'The sports minister is not sponsoring me, and PDVSA is not part of his programme. They are separate.' The Venezuelan went on to talk about his situation with the oil company:
'I have a good relationship with them as we have been working for a very long time together, maybe 10 years.'
Maldonado entered Formula One with the help of PDVSA in 2011 when he joined the Williams F1 Team. Speaking to June's edition of F1Racing Magazine, Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams was asked about Maldonado:
'He's a lovely guy and I think he gets a bad rap in Formula One.' Williams who was his press officer when he arrived at the team said that she feels sorry for him as he has the 'weight of a nation on his shoulders'.
Maldonado had a tough season with the Grove based outfit last season scoring just one point and has so far struggled at the Lotus F1 Team and has yet to score points in 2014. However, the Lotus F1 Team have themselves struggled so far in 2014 and only scored their first point's last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya.
©Ben Johnston 2014