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Williams strikes deal with oil company PDVSA

ESPNF1 Staff
January 15, 2011 « FOTA must remain united - Montezemolo | »
Pastor Maldonado will be a key figure for Williams in 2011 © Getty Images
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Williams has followed up its signing of driver Pastor Maldonado with a long-term sponsorship deal with Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Venezuelan driver Maldonado took the GP2 title last term and will drive alongside veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello in 2011. And the cars will carry the livery of the world's fifth largest oil exporter.

The country's president Hugo Chavez announced the deal in Caracas and team owner Frank Williams feels it will make a huge difference to their competitiveness following the loss of a number of sponsors at the end of the 2010 season.

"They are a substantial partner and can make a meaningful difference to our fighting ability," Williams said in a statement.

PDVSA's head of corporate affairs Julio Gonzalez added: "Pastor will fly our flag this year and carry the hopes of an entire country in this new chapter of his career."

Williams finished sixth behind the dominant Red Bull outfit in last year's Constructors' Championship.