Pastor Maldonado has paid tribute to Williams F1 following the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix and has said the team 'will stay in his heart forever'.

His comments are a stark contrast to those he made in Austin the weekend before, when he was highly critical, saying he was 'happy to be leaving' and even going so far as to hint, following qualifying, that his struggles in that session were due to sabotage within in the Williams camp. Although he subsequently backtracked on that, and was apologetic, admitting that the heat of the moment may have got to him, he attempted to mend bridges further after his final outing with the team at Interlagos.

"It's been a great three years with this team, I had a nice moment with Frank and the team this morning and they will stay in my heart forever," he commented after the final round in the 2013 F1 Championship.

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Maldonado finished 16th in Brazil after a wretched season that saw him score only one point - when he was tenth in Hungary. It was a huge contrast to 2012, when won in Spain and scored 45 points in total.

"We were fighting hard with the cars around us [in Brazil] but the pace wasn't quite in the car to be able to challenge for the top ten," he added. "We lost some time in the pitstops and ultimately we couldn't recover the places."

Maldonado is now expected to end up at either Lotus or Sauber in 2014, although nothing has been confirmed as yet.