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Venezuelen minister: Maldonado money is at risk

Pastor Maldonado

Unless Pastor Maldonado can prove that his driving ability and talent alone is worthy of a Formula One drive, the Venezuelan driver’s career may come to an abrupt end. This follows suggestions from Venezuela’s new sports minister Antonio Alvarez that Maldonado’s funding could be at risk.

Maldonado’s racing career has been funded for the most part by Venezuelan state-owned oil giants PDVSA, to the tune of around £25 million ($42m) a year, making him a very attractive prospect to any cash-strapped team.

Maldonado, who moved from to the Lotus Formula One team from Williams F1 at the start of the 2014 season, had a very good relationship with Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez following the death of Chavez in 2013, it would seem Maldonado may be running out of friends in high places. Alvarez has suggested that Maldonado’s funding could soon come to an end.

There is little doubt that Maldonado’s on going mediocre performance, the fact that he has not yet claimed a single championship point, and his reputation as an unskilled driver who regularly crashes, will have contributed to the comments.

Alvarez however did not allude to any of this. “I know I’m going to make a lot of enemies,” he told the Venezuelan publication Ultimas Noticias. “But there will be not one more dollar for motor racing. Venezuelan sport has other priorities, and it would be unfair to use state resources for disciplines that are not in line with the development of the country.”

Due to Maldonado’s deal with PDVSA, the oil giant features very prominently on the Lotus E22 this season after the company reached a settlement deal with Williams which would allow Maldonado to not finish his contract with the team.
Lotus desperately needed the funds, but whether Maldonado can secure a seat on talent alone remains to be seen.

About Adele Groenendaal

Some say she's Murray Walker's illegitimate offspring. Others say she was a right wheel-gunner for the Lotus F1 team. All we know is Adele has high octane fuel running through her veins and Formula One is her passion. Follow Adele on Twitter @aprilrain500

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