Pastor Maldonado confirms he wants to stay at Williams for 2013
South American looks set to stay on at Williams for a third season
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 11/10/12 2:16pm
Pastor looks set to stay on at Williams for a third season
Pastor Maldonado has clarified that his preference for the 2013 season would be to stay with Williams and hinted that he could be close to finalising a contract extension with the Grove outfit.
The Venezuelan secured the team's first victory in almost a decade in May when he won the Spanish GP with a faultless display of frontrunning.
Although Maldonado's performances have tailed off since then - indeed, eighth place at Suzuka last week amounted to his first points-scoring haul since Barcelona - his retention for next season has nonetheless been widely expected.
Although a twist in the tale seemed to be in the offing earlier in the week when Maldonado was quoted as saying he was considering a transfer to another team, the South American has now confirmed that he would like to remain at Williams.
"To be honest, I really want to stay at Williams," Maldonado announced during the Drivers' Press Conference at Yeongam. "It's a team which is getting better and better every day, we've been rebuilding everything, and the car is getting better and better too. I've confidence in them."
However, even if Maldonado were to remain at Williams for a third season, the team could yet make a headline-grabbing change to their driver line-up amid mounting speculation that highly-rated youngster Valtteri Bottas will replace Bruno Senna.
The 23-year-old has frequently impressed during his scattering of Friday Practice appearances this term and is making no secret of his determination to land a race seat for 2013.
Bottas tipped to replace Senna
Asked on Thursday by Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes to identify his hopes for next season, the Finn replied: "To get the race seat. I think I've shown my speed and I really, really hope I can get it
"Who wouldn't like to race? Williams would of course be [the] ideal place to stay but it's up to the team to decide and we don't know yet when that's going to happen."