• Williams

Williams confirms PDVSA deal ends with Maldonado's exit

ESPN Staff
November 12, 2013 « McLaren confirms it is considering replacing Perez | F1 return 'nearly impossible' - Kubica »
© Associated Press

Williams will cut its ties with the state-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in 2014 now that Pastor Maldonado has decided to leave the team.

A significant amount of Williams' budget has come from PDVSA in the past three years deal, but the team is believed to have negotiated a lucrative severance package to allow Maldonado to take the branding elsewhere. He will be replaced by Felipe Massa in 2014 and at the team's driver announcement on Monday, deputy team principal Claire Williams confirmed the deal had been terminated early.

"It [the branding] won't be on the car for next year," she told Reuters. "There is no [further] connection with PDVSA as obviously Pastor is now leaving the team.

"We wish him well in that new challenge and we have to see where he ends up next year, but the Williams team won't have a connection to Venezuela next year."

Asked about the severance package, she added: "I think when our numbers come out next year, people will see what has actually gone on behind the scenes with this whole arrangement."

Williams is now looking to Brazil for new sponsors, although the team has stressed that Massa is not a pay driver.

"I think Brazil is one of the sport's biggest markets, so it's really up to us to go out and commercialise Felipe as our driver," she said. "We've been operating and looking for sponsorship in the Brazilian market for a long time now, we've had great Brazilian partners in the past. So we will be going out to Brazil to see what we can do out there."