So, when it rains on potential Formula 1 drivers who could bring a big chunk of sponsor dollars, apparently it pours.
GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan driver who already has lined up a test with Williams — leading to all the hand-wringing about Nico Hulkenberg’s future with the team — is also going to be testing for HRT following the season’s final race at Abu Dhabi.
Besides the cache of winning the GP2 series this year, Maldonado’s real draw seems to be all the oil company sponsorship money he brings with him. And Williams might lose nearly a handful of sponsors come season’s end.
But all that aside, here’s the question. You’re Pastor, and I’ll assume you want to make a good impression to quiet the snarky critics who think you’re all about the Benjamins. So — provided you had any say in the matter — how would you want to approach your days of testing? Would you build up to the “faster” and “better” Williams car by first getting the feel of F1 in the HRT? Or would you want to jump right into the Williams so you avoided the taint of the HRT?
Which do you think would be the smarter way to go?
For those die-hard Pastor fans, here’s the QandA HRT has at its site, along with the announcement:
Q&A with Pastor Maldonado What does it mean for you to participate in these F1 tests with Hispania Racing?
P.M. â€œIt will be something special to test with Hispania Racing after being the GP2 champion. It will definitely be an experience and one I am looking forward to very much.â€
You are one of the few Venezuelan drivers to drive a F1 car. How does this make you feel?
P.M. â€œIt is simply an honor to be one of the few Venezuelan drivers to drive an F1 car. I have much to be grateful for being given this opportunity.â€
You have gained a lot of experience in lower categories (GP2, GP2 Asia, RWS, F3000â€¦) How do you think this has helped you to get here and test a F1 car with Hispania Racing?
P.M. â€œMy previous experience will be very important, at this test in particular. Having the experience that I do can only help me adapt to a new, more complex category. I know as well that it has only increased my determination to be successful.â€
What do you expect these 3 days of testing with Hispania Racing?
P.M. â€œThe three days will be very important. I hope to contribute to the development of the team and to accumulate as much experience as possible.â€
Describe yourself as a driver.
P.M. â€œI am a fast and technical driver and Iâ€™m here to win.â€