Reigning GP2 Series Champion Pastor Maldonado's graduation to F1 appears to be closer than ever, after the Venezuelan wrote on his Twitter account that he hopes to be able to reveal some 'important' news during the course of this week.

Even before impressive F1 2010 rookie Nico H?lkenberg was officially released by Williams last week [see separate story - click here], it was strongly rumoured that Maldonado was being lined-up to replace the young German, with the $15 million in sponsorship that he is able to bring with him from his homeland understood to be irresistibly attractive to a team whose finances have seen happier days.

H?lkenberg's manager Willi Weber has mused that the Grove-based outfit has 'probably already done a deal with Maldonado' - who tried out for both Williams and Hispania Racing (HRT) on all four days of the end-of-season Abu Dhabi young driver and Pirelli tyre tests last week.

The 25-year-old is backed by both the Venezuelan government as well as state-owned petroleum company PDVSA, and it seems confirmation of his promotion to F1 alongside ultra-experienced veteran Rubens Barrichello in 2011 may now be just around the corner.

"This week could be very important and I hope to have news about the future," he wrote on Twitter, adding in an interview with the official F1 website: "If you win the GP2 championship, you definitely hope that F1 is the next logical step. I really enjoyed being in an F1 car [at the Yas Marina tests] and getting more experience. I am already looking forward to next season, when I hopefully can make use of it in F1."



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