Williams spoiled my qualifying

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If Pastor Maldonado was looking to win friends and influence people, he may have taken a step backward today at the United States Grand Prix in Austin Texas. Maldonado qualified 18th with his teammate, Valtteri Bottas qualifying in 9th. Pastor said:

“I think someone is playing with the [tyre] pressure and temperatures in my car.”

There’s no secret that Maldonado hasn’t been happy at Williams F1 and is leaving at the end of this season but today’s outburst was one you rarely see in Formula 1 circles. Suggesting that a team like Williams F1 would purposefully scuttle your car and hinder your performance is a major accusation. That may be nothing new for Maldonado who previously stated:

“I think I delivered more to the team than they did for me.”

The fact is, Williams F1 is a much-loved team in F1 and have had some of the sport’s brightest stars drive for them. It would be very uncharacteristic of the team to hamper the car’s performance as points are crucial for the financial livelihood of the team. Claire Williams said:

“Never in Williams’s history would we ever do anything like that.”

I believe her. I don’t think you become a team like Williams F1 by playing with your driver’s chassis settings to insure that your car doesn’t perform well. Maldonado is apparently very emotional about this but in a battle for PR and brand loyalty, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

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