Maldonado dismisses Williams fall-out rumors

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Pastor Maldonado has taken to Twitter to dismiss any rumors suggesting that he is unhappy at Williams or that there are any problems with his backing, assuring his followers that he will be in Formula One next season representing Venezuela.

Reports broke yesterday suggesting that an investigation into the disbursement of finance from the government into motorsport in Venezuela, casting doubt on Maldonado’s future due to his high amount of backing from state-owned oil giant PDVSA. However, Maldonado is not concerned.

“Rumours about my relationship with Williams and vice versa are completely false,” Maldonado explained in Spanish on Twitter. “There is a good relationship between driver and team. We have been working hard day and night to improve our performance and results.

“Unfortunately this is F1, there are good years and bad, I think we’re not the only ones who have gone through difficult times in terms of results. Similarly, we have shown that even after non-competitive performance we did not give up and won’t give up until the last race.”

Williams have struggled in 2013, scoring just a single point through Maldonado at the Hungarian Grand Prix back in July with the Venezuelan driver reportedly saying that he may as well not race instead of fighting outside of the top ten. However, he assured his fans that he would be in F1 next season despite lacking a secure drive.

“About my future: I will be in F1 next season proudly representing Venezuela,” he said. “Hopefully good news soon.”

In Japan last weekend, a feud broke out between Maldonado and teammate Valtteri Bottas after the Venezuelan driver made an aggressive overtake on the Finn on the final lap of the race, forcing him off the track but eventually gaining the position.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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