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Williams sends condolences after death of Chavez

ESPN Staff
March 6, 2013 « BBC announces plans for 2013 coverage | Beating Chilton not the priority - Bianchi »
President Hugo Chavez with Pastor Maldonado in 2011 © Getty Images
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The Williams F1 team has released a statement sending its condolences to the people of Venezuela after the death of its president, Hugo Chavez.

News broke on Tuesday night that Chavez had died at the age of 58 following a long battle with cancer. He had been a strong supporter of Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, who brings a significant amount of sponsorship to the team from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.

"In the wake of yesterday's announcement that Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has passed away after a long battle with cancer, the Williams F1 Team sends its deepest condolences to the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela," the statement said.

In the past Maldonado appeared publically with Chavez and his victory at last year's Spanish Grand Prix resulted in a public holiday in Venezuela. The President's death has led to speculation that Maldonado's funding could be under when the current contract between PDVSA and Williams expires.