Pastor Maldonado says he could leave Williams if a drive becomes available at a more competitive team

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 09/10/12 4:09pm

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Pastor Maldonado's Williams future has been plunged into unexpected doubt after the Venezuelan announced he is looking around for a more competitive drive in 2013.

Although the 27-year-old took his first F1 victory - and the team's first since 2004 - at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, he did not score again until last weekend's race at Suzuka.

Maldonado is reported to bring $55m in sponsorship to Williams, courtesy of backing from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, increasing the likelihood of the Grove-based team wanting to retain his services.

However, whilst the Venezuelan has spoken to Williams about remaining with the team for at least another season, he has also admitted to being willing to consider offers from elsewhere.

"At the moment there is a chance to go to other teams but we are considering remaining here, but it is still too early," Maldonado said.

"The team usually confirm their drivers at the end of the season but we are talking, negotiating. This is a good family for me I feel really good here, they feel really happy with me but we know how Formula One is, it can change one day from another.

"It is difficult to say, until other teams have confirmed their drivers you never know. It is difficult. I need to keep pushing, doing my job in the team to try and get some points and we will see."

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