Maldonado on a mission with Williams

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Pastor Maldonado has said that he is very happy at Williams F1 Team, explaining how he is on a “mission” to win a world championship with the British team before moving on to pastures new amid rumors that he could be on the move next season.

With just six drivers holding contracts for next year, there could be a sizeable change in the grid for 2014, but Maldonado is refusing to read into any talk in the media.

“I heard a lot of rumours to be honest,” Maldonado explained. “I have a friend which is one of my best mates and he was calling me when I was on the beach: ‘oh I read in a newspaper you are going to Ferrari, you are going to Lotus.’ To be honest, I’m fully focused on this season, there is no point to say I’m going somewhere else. I’m in a good place.”

Maldonado conceded that the team was performing below par this season, but he has faith in his future at Williams.

“For sure, the results are not there, the team potential is big as always, we need to work together, harder, and I hope to stay. I hope to be here even next year. You never know. I really want to win the championship in Williams, before I go to another team.

“For me, it’s like a mission when I got to the team. I mean, I have a lot of responsibility on my back, not only to drive for Williams, I drive for my country and I drive for PDVSA as well so I have a lot of responsibility.”

On a personal level, Maldonado is pleased with his showings so far this season despite scoring just one point in 2013.

“I think I’m doing quite well, the team is happy with my drives, we won a race in my second year even when the car was not a car to win races. I think I’m doing quite well, just, we need to put everything together just to be more consistent as a team, not only as a driver.”

Williams currently occupy P9 in the constructors’ championship, six points behind Sauber. If Maldonado can string together some points-scoring finishes, the team could soon surpass their rivals and put themselves in good stead for the rest of the season.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup