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."
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.