The President of Venezuela has confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will receive government backing for his debut season in F1 in 2011.
President Hugo Chavez has revealed that the GP2 title winner will benefit from support from both the government and the state oil company PDVSA when he joins Williams, where he will join forces with Rubens Barrichello – the most experienced man on the grid.
"We are supporting Pastor Maldonado and his team through Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA)," he was quoted by Europa Press
Maldonado himself insists he is hoping to build on his successful 2010 GP2 campaign, where he took the title in dominant fashion, when he joins the F1 grid and sampled Williams machinery for the first time during the Abu Dhabi test last month.
“It was an incredible season,” he told Autoweek
. “We were competitive from the beginning and went on to win six races. By the middle of the season, I already had a good gap and took the title at Monza.
“[Driving the Williams] was amazing. It was a big moment for me because only days before I had been driving a GP2 car, and there are some big differences. The first is the difference in engine power; the F1 car has amazing power and a higher top speed. Secondly, the braking point; the brakes are a lot [better] in F1. Finally, there is much more downforce and general grip.”
Maldonado will sample the Williams FW33 for the first time when testing resumes in February.