Formula 1


Maldonado out, Massa in at Williams?

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A Pastor Maldonado exit could pave the way for a Felipe Massa seat at Williams in 2014 according to respected journalist Livio Oricchio.

The correspondent for Brazil's O Estada de S.Paulo reveals talks are now taking place between Maldonado's big-money backers PDVSA and Williams about how much would be needed to buy the Venezuelan out of his current contract with the Grove based team.

The 28-year-old has become increasingly frustrated with the Williams team for the poor performance of the FW35 and now cracks with members of his own team are starting to show.

"I've never seen a racing car that reacts so little to modifications," veteran team manager Dickie Stanford told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Though one team member, who was un-named, claimed Maldonado himself remained one of the problems.

"He still makes too many mistakes," the team member is quoted as saying.

"In Korea, we told him repeatedly in the last stint to take care of the right front and, if possible, stay out of the battles.

"But what did he do? Drives like a madman and ruins his tyres within three laps."

Indeed the former GP2 champion enraged his bosses even more by pulling a very aggressive move on team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the final corner of the Japanese Grand Prix just to finish in 16th place.

Both Auto Sport und Motor and O Estada de S.Paulo report the Venezuelan is eyeing Kimi Raikkonen's seat at Lotus though whether than seat comes available depends on investment from a consortium formerly known as Infinity but has since changed to Quantum Racing.

"They (Quantum) are always saying 'We're coming, we're coming', but nothing happens," a Lotus source told Oricchio.

Should the Quantum money arrive it is likely German Nico Hulkenberg will take that seat alongside Romain Grosjean, however with Hulkenberg himself setting a deadline of the end of month, Maldonado and his millions could become a strong candidate.

Maldonado's manager Nicolas Todt is said to be pushing for such a deal as it would open up a seat for his other racer Felipe Massa who has found €6m in backing from Petrobras.

Todt said: "Yes, it's been difficult for Pastor this year, with a car that does not allow the drivers to score points.

"They have to react and they have been hiring new people. Next year it (Williams) would be an excellent option for Felipe."

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