F1 »

Maldonado happy to put Venezuela back on F1 map

Pastor Maldonado has said that he is excited to be putting his native Venezuela back on the F1 map.
F1 rookie Pastor Maldonado is looking forward to getting the 2011 F1 season underway in Australia next week having finally ended his homeland's long wait for a return to the grand prix arena.

Although hopefuls such as EJ Viso have tried and failed to break into the F1 firmament on a permanent basis - the current Indycar regular ran a Friday test session for Spyker at Interlagos in 2006 - Maldonado finally achieved his breakthrough on the back of his GP2 Series triumph in 2010 and will line up alongside veteran Rubens Barrichello at Williams this season.

He will pick up Venezuela's F1 baton from Johnny Cecotto, who briefly enjoyed his spell in the top flight after swapping a successful motorcycle racing career for a couple of years in F2 and then graduating with the Theodore team in 1983. He then moved to partner Ayrton Senna at Toleman in 1984, but had his season - and career - cut short by a leg-breaking shunt at Brands Hatch.

After four seasons in GP2, Maldonado last year became the most successful driver in series history by taking six feature race wins in succession and, with the help of backing from state oil company PDVSA, replaced the hapless Nico Hulkenberg at Williams for 2011. He is only the third driver from Venezuela to compete in F1, with Italian-born Ettore Chimeri the first in 1960.

"It's great and a good moment for me, and especially for my country too, because, for nearly 30 years, we had no people driving in F1," he told Sportal, "This is a really special moment and we're looking to have a really great season. The pre-season has gone well so I'm quite confident now starting the season."

Along with Barrichello, Maldonado will be charged with maintaining Williams' recent climb back up the F1 rankings, the team having pipped Force India to sixth overall last season. Despite the team struggling to live up to its previous successes, however, the rookie is happy to have found a promising berth for his start in grand prix racing.

"This is the history of F1 - my real passion," he admitted, "I'm really happy to be here at Williams and it's a pleasure to work for Frank and for the team. Because it's a really compact team and I feel really good. I'm looking to have a really good season and to give lots of effort to Williams."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.02.2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
20.02.2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
21.02.2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
11/2/2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
21.02.2011 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 with Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Group photo 2016 F1 drivers, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Alan D - Unregistered

February 28, 2011 11:54 PM

Andrew, but you were looking at the real map, not the F1 map. As far as the F1 map is concerned, places can only be on it if they buy a license from Bernie. As the article says, the last Venezuelan in F1 was Cecotto who's F1 career ended when he broke both legs at Silverstone during practice. That year we was partnered with Ayrton Senna in the Toleman, and after his accident hos seat remained empty for a couple of races and was then filled by Sefan Johannsen who maanged 4th place on his first outing. Amazingly though, that fourth place was a full two laps behind the winner Niki Lauda in a Mclaren. That's something to be said for F1 in 2010. We didn't have the top four or five lapping the rest of the field.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.