Hugo Chavez's death casts uncertainty on Maldonado

© F1 Pulse, 6 March 2013
© AP Photo/Fernando Llano

With the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who used the country’s vast oil wealth to his political advantage, Pastor Maldonado’s future in Formula 1 could be a bit shaky.

The Williams driver got his race seat with the help of the backing from PDVSA – Venezuela’s state-owned petroleum company – in a deal repeatedly questioned by the opposition in the South American country.

Williams, whose win in Spain last year with Maldonado stirred a controversy in Venezuela, is believed to receive $66 million from PDVSA annually.

Now with Chavez’s death on Tuesday, an election is to be held within the next 30 days to establish a new president and if the opposition comes into power, the Williams contract could be open to further investigation.

“There have always been critics who say that these sponsorships were not agreed with the necessary procedures and did not really serve the national interest,” noted F1 journalist Joe Saward wrote on his blog. “This latter argument is doubtful as Maldonado has become a key figure on Venezuelan sport and the next generation of rulers may well choose to go on funding his activities.

“The Williams team has a long-term rolling sponsorship deal with PDVSA which will be hard to break, but there is no doubt that Chavez’s death will create a little uncertainty in this respect,” he added.

Chavez had won a new term after an election in October last year, but ever since his surgery in December, his condition had been unstable despite the 58-year-old making several televised appearances.


Want to be the fastest to lap up F1 content? ‘Follow’ us on TWITTER and ‘like’ us on FACEBOOK.


Nike Air 1999 Jordan 5 Fire Red size 8.5 DScheap jordans for sale2008 NIKE AIR JORDAN COUNTDOWN PACK COLLEZIONE CDP 16/7 MULTI COLOR SIZE 11cheap jordans for saleNike Air Jordan Retro 6 VI GMP Gold Medal Size 12cheap jordans for saleAir Jordan Retro XIII 13 Low Midnight Navy/Hornets 310810-107 Size 10 No Boxcheap jordans for sale(937) 100% Authentic Nike Air Jordan 21 Playoff Sz 13 White/Black/Redcheap jordans for sale2003 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Black Patent Metallic Gold sz 9cheap jordans for saleNike air foamposite pro pure platinum Jordan Size 12 PADS Retro 1 3 4 11 13 Bredcheap jordans for saleNike Air Jordan Flight Runner 2 Black Red 8 New in box NIBcheap jordans for saleNIKE AIR JORDAN RETRO 1 HIGH OG "SHADOW" SOFT GRaY/BLACK 555088 014 men SZ 10.5cheap jordans for sale