• Williams

Maldonado says deal is 'quite close'

ESPN Staff
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Pastor Maldonado says he is "quite close" to signing a contract for 2014 but wouldn't reveal which team he is joining.

Since announcing he would leave Williams, Maldonado has been one of the most sought after drivers due to the extensive funding he can bring from sponsor PDVSA. It now appears to be a choice between Lotus and Sauber and Maldonado said he is on the verge of finalising a deal with one of those teams.

"We are quite close to be honest," Maldonado said. "We have been working very hard since many months ago and now we are just waiting for confirmation to finish all the stuff you need to do, contracts and everything."

Asked which of the teams he wants to drive for, Maldonado said: "For sure I know. With my team and Nicolas (Todt) we took the decision, so let's see. Until you sign you never know; I would prefer to sign and to be 100% sure before it is announced … it could be signed now, tonight, tomorrow, in one week, next month; we all are waiting to get the agreement done."

After his final race for Williams, Maldonado thanked the team for helping him develop as a grand prix driver.

"I really learned a lot from the team. They gave me the opportunity to have Rubens Barrichello as my team-mate in the first year, last year we won a race which was very special for the team after many races without winning. Even looking at the situation we had this year it's looking not easy to get back to winning races. I think it was very special.

"This year I learned even more than the previous two seasons even if we did not achieve the targets but I feel ready now to choose something else."

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