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Williams confirms Maldonado to stay

Undeterred by the loss of Kimi Raikkonen to rival Renault, Williams confirms its first two signings for 2012.
It may have seen talks with Kimi Raikkonen break down ahead of the Finn being announced as a surprise signing by the Lotus Renault team, but Williams has pressed on with its own plans for 2012.

To that end, the Grove team confirmed that Pastor Maldonado would return for a second season in F1, while announcing the official promotion of Valtteri Bottas to the role of reserve driver.

Even as recently as last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, doubt was being cast over the Venezuelan's place in the team, as PDVSA's backing featured in an official court investigation, but Williams has clearly received the assurances it needed to re-sign the 2010 GP2 Series champion, despite Maldonado suffering the worst single season record ever posted by a Williams driver.

“Pastor has proven this year that he is not only quick, but also that he is able to maintain a consistent and strong race pace," team owner Sir Frank Williams countered, "He has been responsible for all of our forays into Q3 in 2011 and his race at Monaco was outstanding.

"Pastor has also settled into the team at Williams very well, contributing strongly in the factory and with our partners. He will play a critical role in 2012 as we rebuild the team and move forward.”

'Rebuilding the team' is expected to include adding a new face to replace the ageing Rubens Barrichello, with Force India's Adrian Sutil the current favourite now that Raikkonen is out of the picture.

"I am delighted to be able to continue with Williams into my second season and I will give my very best to help the team as we push to return to the front of the grid," Maldonado commented, "This has been a tough season for the whole team, but it has given me the opportunity to learn and develop. I am convinced that the steps we have taken to improve our competitiveness will bear fruit in 2012 and beyond. I am thrilled to be part of that and also to represent the people of Venezuela in F1.”

Bottas, meanwhile, also re-signs with the team after being snapped up as star of the future last season. The Finn had been rumoured as a possible race driver for 2012, but will now fulfil the role of official tester.

He recently joined Williams at the Abu Dhabi young driver test where he demonstrated mature car control and consistently quick lap times while providing considered and sound technical feedback durign two days of running.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.11.2011- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33 and Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
27.11.2011- Race, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
15.11.2011 Abu Dhabi, UEA, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team  - Formula 1 Testing Rookie Test, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship -
15.11.2011 Abu Dhabi, UEA, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team  - Formula 1 Testing Rookie Test, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship -
26.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
25.11.2011- Friday Practice 2, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
25.11.2011- Friday Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
25.11.2011- Friday Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
25.11.2011- Friday Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014-Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014-Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

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Trying

December 02, 2011 12:12 AM

.....And Rubins is still left hanging on to hear. If he is not required at Williams then they should tell him so, and not drag it out. If it is a case of they want Rubins IF they can't get a better driver then they should tell him anyway. It is not good business to treat people this way, maybe they want Rubins to be the one who says he's going. I hope that Williams can't get a better driver and then Rubins turns them down and goes off to help a back marking team or retires. And Williams will get no better than they deserve. A most inconsiderate way to treat a driver and Frank should be ashamed.

Fel - Unregistered

December 02, 2011 10:20 AM

This is the same Williams that said NO to Ayrton Senna back in '83 after Senna was over 1 second faster then their F1 driver Keke Rosberg because it went against their policies hire a new driver. Time has changed and now Maldonado is "the man!".



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