Williams F1 driver Pastor Maldonado is currently headed to India for this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, amid speculation and rumours about his future in the sport.

Maldonado has been notably critical of the team's 2013 performance in recent weeks suggesting that relations with Williams are at best strained. With Maldonado also publicly falling out with his team mate at the most recent event, former F1 team owner turned BBC Sports analyst Eddie Jordan said in Japan that he didn't expect Maldonado to remain with the team beyond the end of the season despite his contract having two more years to run.

"He still makes too many mistakes," one unnamed team member is reported by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport as saying. "In Korea, we told him repeatedly in the last stint to take care of the right front and, if possible, stay out of the battles," the source continued. "But what did he do? Drives like a madman and ruins his tyres within three laps."

Related Articles

The driver himself is thought to be eyeing a move to Lotus F1 and taking over from Kimi Raikkonen in 2014. However, Maldonado refuted such suggestions via his Twitter feed. "The rumours about my relationship with Williams F1 Team and vice versa are completely false," Maldonado posted. "There is a good relationship between myself and the team, we have been working hard day and night to improve our performances and results."

Maldonado added that he understood there were ups and downs in the sport, and that he wasn't unduly phased or disappointed in Williams' slump this season after what had appeared a break-through maiden win for the driver in the 2012 Spanish GP.

"Unfortunately this is F1; there are good years and bad. I think we're not the only ones who go through difficult times in terms of results," he wrote. "Similarly, we have shown that even with non-competitive performance we did not give up and won't until the last race."

Perhaps more serious for Maldonado's future are the reports from the Associated Press over the weekend that the Venezuelan government have frozen all disbursements of hard currency to car and motorcycle racers competing abroad. Maldonado's race seat at Williams is secured by funding from the state-owned PDVSA oil and natural gas company, and without the money then not only Maldonado but even Williams' participation in the remainder of the season could be in jeopardy. Maldonado's contract at Williams is said to be worth 35 million euros a year to the team

Maldonado dismissed such suggestions, however: "About my future: I will be in F1 next season proudly representing Venezuela. Hopefully good news soon," he tweeted.

The issue with funding related to a corruption investigation currently ongoing in Venezuela. Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez told reporters Friday that some motor racing drivers have obtained hard currency for "activities that were either fictitious or overpriced" and that one driver had received $66 million in disbursements. It's not known to whom he was referring, and there was no suggestion that Maldonado was personally involved.

Sports Minister Alejandra Benitez noted that more than 98 percent of her budget for foreign competitions goes into motor sports, which includes funding EJ Viso in the US IndyCar Series. Viso was notably absent from last weekend's series finale and was listed as ill - even tweeting a photo from his hospital bed to prove it and dispel rumours that his absence was down to the currency crisis. The socialist government also funds a slate of drivers in other international series, including several in the GP2 feeder series to F1.

The situation seems unlikely to threaten Maldonado's immediate participation in the next F1 event, with the driver on his way to India and saying that he was very much looking forward this weekend's Grand Prix event at Buddh International Circuit, which he described as being one of the best of the modern breed of tracks that has been introduced to the championship.

"All the drivers seem to enjoy the Indian circuit due to its fantastic design and high speeds and I will miss it not being on the calendar next year," he said. "I particularly like the 180 degree right hander which is taken very fast and seems to go on forever.

"Of the new generation of circuits this is one of the best with its good variety, combining fast chicanes, slow corners, and corners that require a big KERS input," he continued. "Normally the track is quite dirty on Friday as the track is not used that often outside of the F1 race weekend, but it does tend to improve as the weekend progresses with more rubber being laid down and the grip levels vastly improving."

Maldonado's current team mate at Williams, Valtteri Bottas, was also looking forward to returning to India, where he will be taking part in his first Indian GP in 2013.

"India is always a unique place to visit and I enjoy the contrasts with other races on the calendar so I'm looking forward to returning again this year," he said. "It's a really interesting track to drive and normally produces entertaining races, with a good mixture of corner types that test the car and driver.

"The track does have some overtaking opportunities because it is quite wide, with the hairpin off the back straight a key opportunity," he added. "The weather can also be warm and humid which can be challenging physically.

"We have not had the sort of results that we would have hoped for so far in the second half of the season, but I will continue to fight as hard as I can and try to get the most out of the package we have to try and get us in to the points," he insisted.