Future in my hands - Maldonado
Pastor Maldonado says his future is in his own hands as he weighs up several options over where to drive next year.
Maldonado looks destined to leave Williams, where he has struggled for points this year after securing his first win with the team in 2012. Lotus has confirmed it is in talks with him and there are even rumours he has signed for the team in the last 24 hours. However, with Sauber and Force India also possible destinations, Maldonado said it is now his call on where he will drive next year.
"The decision will be down to me so I prefer to take some more time," he said. "I really hope to have a decision before the end of the season and there are still a couple of weeks to go, so we'll see. I cannot guarantee I will leave the team or stay. The decision is very important; it is my third season in my career so it's a very important moment professionally for me. I want to have the best decision for my future.
"I have a couple of options and for sure I am trying to move away and time is going away so I really want to have a clear answer. I'm talking with my people and we will choose the best decision and the best team for me."
He added: "The decision over where I will be is 100% down to me at the moment. It's a big responsibility and because of that I'm taking my time and I don't want to make any mistakes. I will be happy having good people with motivation and it will be a new era for Formula One so it will be important to have a good work ethic in the team."
Maldonado brought Venezuelan oil company PDVSA to Williams when he joined in 2013, which brings somewhere in the region of $30 million to the team. However, he said PDVSA have a separate deal to him with the team and there was no guarantees the money would follow, although any deal with Lotus is believed to be dependent on it.
"Many teams are struggling with money and I cannot guarantee I will have or not have money because I am not paying," he said. "For sure in my career I have a strong sponsor in my bag, which is quite good and it helps the team. They have helped the Williams team a lot in the past three years and I hope if I move then I hope they come with me, but I cannot guarantee that."
Asked what he would make a decision on, he said: "Many things. It's not easy for a driver to choose a team, especially when everything is new for next year. I've been here for three years so it will be maybe an advantage to stay in the team because I know everyone here. Another team will be like starting from zero. Apart from that you have many other factors, like who will be working with you and for you. The projects, engines, the people and the feelings, that's very important. All the budget plans are very important and I'm taking my time because I need to feel comfortable."