Williams to test Pastor Maldonado

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Williams have confirmed they will run Pastor Maldonado in the young drivers’ test days in Abu Dhabi in November.

The news adds weight to rumours that Maldonado will replace Nico H???lkenberg at the team next year.

The team also confirmed Dean Stoneman will drive for them in the two-day test following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Stoneman won this year’s Formula Two championship and earned his test as part of the prize. Maldonado became the GP2 champion at Monza and will race in the series’ season finale at Yas Marina before his test for Williams.

F3 driver Valtteri Bottas will continue as the team’s reserve driver in 2011.

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Williams to test Pastor Maldonado”

  1. I think this is the final nail in the coffin for Nico.He is talented & should better start to look a driver for 2011. Force India don’t look that bad a place.

    1. Nathan Bradley
      25th October 2010, 10:47

      I very much doubt that will happen IMHO. Force India will almost certainly keep Sutil, and if Liuzzi leaves, I can only see one man stepping into that seat: Paul di Resta.


      1. what if Sutil goes to Renault

        1. Nathan Bradley
          25th October 2010, 11:07

          A possibility, but I believe Vijay Mallya will fight very hard to keep him; otherwise if Sutil goes to Renault, that leaves him with either Liuzzi/di Resta and Hulkenberg (in the context of this discussion.) That to me, seems a far too inexperienced line-up for a solid midfield F1 team. Apart from Canada this year, Liuzzi hasn’t shown he could lead a team, Hulkenberg has one (solid) year of experience at Williams and di Resta has only driven practice sessions and would definately need time to bed in.

          I think that would be a very risky strategy for Mr. Mallya to take.


  2. Is Botas certanly still third driver? If he isn’t confirmed then maybe there is a chance they signed Maldonando as third driver (similar to how they signed Kartihkeyan and received Tata sponsorship).

    If this really means they are dumping Hulkenberg after nurturing him for 3 years it is very bad news for Williams. I was hoping days of pay drivers in Williams ended with Nakajima, especially since Nico H. is best rookie this season (if we don’t count Kobayashi). I hope there is a seat for him available in F1, he showed this season he deserves it.

    1. According to the Autosport article, Bottas is confirmed as test/reserve driver.

      And Hulenberg’s error-laden season suggests he’s far from the best debutant.

    2. Is Botas certanly still third driver?

      Paragraph five.

  3. I think the vultures are circling for The Hulk

    1. It depends. If they want to give Maldonado a test day, it means they haven’t settled on him yet.

      1. Hmmm… but they know what they’re getting: a fairly mediocre driver. What they want is money, and that hardly needs testing

        1. I did wonder if by “test” they meant “measure the wallet thickness of”.

          1. Ha! Keith I know you wouldn’t normally give yourself comment of the day, but…

        2. Hmmm… but they know what they’re getting: a fairly mediocre driver. What they want is money, and that hardly needs testing

          Don’t be so quick to write Maldonado off. GP2 might be the truest test of a driver’s ability, but it’s by no means perfect. Looking at the GP2 results of Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi, you’d expect Grosjean to be thriving and Kobayashi struggling, but they’re not – it’s the other way around. Maldonado might not have a GP2 resume ike Hulkenberg’s, but he may just take to Formula 1 in a way the German driver hasn’t.

          1. Senna and Chandhok are another example. Everyone expected Senna to walk all over Chandhok based on GP2, and that didn’t really happen.

  4. I’d give Stoneman the drive over Maldonado IF they are planning on replacing The Hulk. Hope not tho, coz Hulkenberg is a good driver

    1. If there’s anyone who’s won a championship with less decent competition than Maldonado did, surely it’s Stoneman.

  5. Maybe Pastor is paying for the privilege?

    1. Why would he have to pay? No-one else is.

    2. I suppose this is more a case of Williams giving him the priviledge to get to his cash pot for next year.

      Even Joe Saward has now changed his story from

      “Williams has their budget for next year and will keep their line-up”


      “Williams needs the cash and will be dropping the Hulk for Maldonado”

      What would be the sense in it, if they were not strongly considering that move, testing time is hard to come by these days, so giving him car time means he is a serious option for next year, if not already signed.

  6. I think you are all being too hard on Maldonado, I’m not saying he’s the best driver around, but he definitely deserves a chance in F1, like PM said “he may just take to Formula 1 in a way the German driver hasn’t”.
    Besides… if Williams are thinking of dropping Hulkenberg is because he didn’t do what they expected this year from him.
    So… I think is great that Pastor finally gets a drive in F1, and other thing, more money is not that bad for a team.

  7. All these rookies getting good drives need to be given the boot. Teams are looking for the new Hamilton or Vettel but apart from di Resta none them have chance of emulating them. Drivers like Kovalainen, Trulli and Glock are at tailenders when they’re capable of wiping the floor with Petrov, Buemi and Alguersuari. Talent needs to be given a chance but things have gone a bit to far.

  8. Come on Williams! You are one of the wealthiest teams in Formula 1, you don’t need pay-drivers. Honestly, what is with Williams and lack of continuity? When was the last time they kept two drivers over two seasons? Rosberg and Nakajima from 2008-2009 it was, but then we have to go back to 2004 to find the last time before that, which was Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. Nico Hülkenberg has done enough for his first season, and deserves his seat just as much as anyone else.

    1. They are hardly one of the wealthiest teams in F1. Far from it in fact. All these years of mediocre performances haven’t helped their cause at all. And as a result of being hard strapped for cash they don’t have decent results. It’s a sad vicious circle for Williams .

  9. If Renault is smart they will sign Hulkenberg the moment he becomes available. Force India should consider this as well.

    1. Sounds good, drop one rookie who brings important Russian ties and knows the team, to get another rookie from Germany.
      And FI would be stupid not to go with Di Resta, Mercedes would love that and probably agree a rebate on the engine deal as well.

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