Maldonado’s demonstration run in Venezuela

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Pastor Maldonado did a demonstration run for Williams in Venezuela last week.

This collection of pictures from the event shows the reception Maldonado got from fans in is home country. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was there as the team announced sponsorship from state petroleum company PDVSA.

However it’s also clear from the pictures of the car how many major sponsors Williams have lost over the winter, with no RBS, Phillips or Air Asia logos on the car.

Williams will run their new car in an interim livery when it makes its first appearance on February 1st.

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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 “Maldonado’s demonstration run in Venezuela”

  1. Is this the equivalent of Labour whipping out a Ferrari F1 and saying vote Red!!

  2. If they are going to run an interim, are they planning or negotiating with someone to put on it that will affect the colours? Just wondering as i dont recall reading anything to suggest it, unless its on of the sponsors that joined because of Maldonado and will change the Dark Blue/White combo they’ve had for the past few seasons.

    1. I recall reading that PDVSA will sponsor Williams for the next five years – and that the contract doesn’t depend on Pastor Maldonado driving for them. If it’s true, then Williams can drop him after a season without losing the sponsorship deal.

      With regards to the actual livery, PDVSA are one of those companies that don’t make a big deal about a car being run in their colours, which are red on white. I’ve seen red on white designs in other categories, but also white on dark blue and yellow on black. That said, I hope Williams works elements of the PDVSA colours into their livery. The dark blue and white is getting a bit old hat. This car has red logos, and one with a gold outline, so I think a blue and white car with red and gold highlights could look very good.

  3. The first time I saw Maldonado having hair! By the way, I quite like the combination of the colombian flag colours on the overalls and that dark bordeaux of the PDVSA could give an interesting livery tone as well.

    1. venezuelan flag…

    2. “colombian flag colours” ??

      You must be among those of us who hope Maldonado will be the next Montoya (without the bad boy attitude, of course).

      I think he will do very well this year at Williams.

      Its also good for F1 to widen its world scope.

      Before Alonso, F1 was not very big in Spain. Now is one of F1’s biggest markets and they have a local team also. So, if enough Venezuelans make it into F1, they might want to host a race there like Argentina and Mexico used to.

      The Venezuelans seemed to have gone crazy with this event and their countryman joining F1.

      BTW, yellow, blue and red would be a first for Williams. The magnificent FW14 had them (with white dominating the red Canon sidepost logo).

      1. The Rothmans Williams from the mid-90s were white, red, gold and blue.

  4. Charles Carroll
    21st January 2011, 20:53

    Will Williams also run a picture of Dictator Chavez on their shark fin? Perhaps a list of human rights violations on the other side would be appropriate to. Viva la Hulkenburg and to heck with Moldy Nad-o

    1. Did Scott Speed had “a list of human rights violations” on the shark fin of his Toro Rosso during Bush’s presidency?

      1. Was Scott Speed sponsored in any way by the Bush administration? or by a totally unrelated Austrian company?

      2. Both are true, yet they are perceived differently. As they say, history is written by the victors… or those who control the media, anyway.

        But back on topic – Pastor has many fans – good for him! But unless he goes really quick, it will all be for naught. And a GP is an even longer shot…

      3. Charles Carroll
        22nd January 2011, 1:27

        Only if he were bankrolled exclusively by President Bush. As for Moldy-Nad-O, he is bankrolled entirely by a dictator with zero regard for human rights. I will not be cheering for him nor Williams, and will simply wait another year until he disappears into obscurity and is replaced by another pay driver. Either that, or until Williams dissolves.

    2. Perhaps a list of human rights violations on the other side would be appropriate to.

      I’m sorry, but this is the most ridiculous, biased and factually wrong opinion I’ve seen. If you want sponsors to be banned from the sport because they are connected to people who have violated human rights, then I guess we’d better write to Ferrari and have them remove Shell from their cars. Royal Dutch Shell were caught in a major scandal in the 1990s where they were unlawfully detaining, torturing and executing tribal leaders in Nigeria. Or how about you ban countries from having a Grand Prix because of their human rights records? Sure, that means China and Russia don’t get a race, but neither does Germany because of the Nazis. Australia doesn’t get one because of the genocide of Tasmanian aboriginals. Brazil can’t have a race because of their military dictatorships. And Japan can forget about a race because of the atrocities committed by Unit 731 in World War II (seriously, don’t Google them – they make the Nazis look like puppies). Formula 1 and human rights have about as much to do with one another as roast beef and tornadoes. The only thing they have in common is that they exist. Williams aren’t going to suddenly become socialists or tyrants because they accept money from PDVSA, and you cannot simply deny Maldonado his chance to race because his backers are affiliated with Caracas. I’ve seen your argument a dozen times, and it’s little more than a pathetic excuse to go on a tirade against a pay driver. So how about you actually go and do some research before you come about sprouting these misguided theroies? I know my comments are loaded, and I woudn’t normally do this, but I cannot abide arguments like yours that have no basis in reality. You might as well have said that we should stop using pens that are made in China because China persecute Falun Gong.

  5. Good answer Victorniox, still, that’s not the point. Had Speed been sponsored by a public Northamerican company, nobody would have said anything related to what I said.
    I don’t want to tunr this into a political debate but I don’t know which human rights violation did Chavez commited. And he is regularly elected by people’s vote, so, dictator?

    So, as a Latin American, I will be supporting Maldonado, and even more if it’s sponsored by a 100% Latin American company as PDVSA. I don’t expect him to outqualify Barrichello this year but he will do a good job I hope.

    1. I don’t want to tunr this into a political debate but I don’t know which human rights violation did Chavez commited.

      Socialism, which violates the “human right” of the rich Venezuelan elite to exploit everybody else.

      1. That comment does nicely fit your name Andy :)

        I think it would be prudent to not judge a team too much by what you perceive their sponsors to have done or not done – PM’s post above nicely illustrates that it would lead to a lot of teams not making the cut – and it seems it would surely also lead to fiery arguments for or against who is worst in who’s eyes, depending on how far you go back and what you are for or against.

        1. I am “Red Andy” for a reason, you know. ;)

          You are right, of course. Politics and F1 should be kept separate, to some degree. There’s quite a lot of hypocrisy involved, though, when people denouncing Williams for having a Venezuelan sponsor have no problem with Grands Prix in China and Singapore. But there you are…

  6. i hope they use british racing green this year

  7. In shocking news today, Pastor Maldonado had a ten second stop-and-go penalty in Bahrain after his eyebrows blocked the vision of two HRT drivers behind him. The HRT’s subsequently crashed in turn 1.

  8. Scott Anderson (@)
    23rd January 2011, 1:30

    Its plain stupid to go along the US imposed view of Venezuela, Chavez, and the PDVSA company, and use this to question Williams decision for sponsorship.

    Folks should at least do some research on this before saying something.

    Having Maldonado join F1 is a good thing, as it opens the South American market more for the sport.

    South America’s economy is actually growing, unlike other parts of the world.

    F1 needs more drivers from the Americas in the series, other than Brazil.

    Adam Parr visited Venezuela several times (read his comments the day of the singing of PDVSA as sponsor).

    So, Parr went there and saw what is like with his own eyes. An elected president, and elected congress with the opposition holding 40% of seats, the media openly criticizes the government, etc. Nothing like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, Singapore, or China, all of which get a free pass for their dictatorial governments because they get along well with the US.

    Chavez is very mercurial, especially for non-Latin folks, but he has kept his actions within the law.

    Venezuela doesn’t look like Cuba or anything like that to me.

  9. Scott Anderson (@)
    23rd January 2011, 1:43

    God, I just read that PDVSA sponsors Venezuelan EJ Viso at KVR-Lotus in IndyCar.

    He ran the Indy 500 with PDVSA-Venezuela livery !!!

    How come no one in the US objected to this?

    I guess they have acted with more maturity than those whining about Williams accepting PDVSA and Venezuela as sponsors.

    In any case, Maldonado’s performance will make people forget this nonsense, either he fails miserably and leaves, or if he turns out to be “The Next JP Montoya” as some hope.

    We will see when the season gets underway.

  10. Ironically, the logo of pre-Chávez PDVSA was dark blue and would have matched Williams’ current livery closely. But the red logo on the blue-and-white livery looks terrible. Chávez wouldn’t allow the PDVSA logo to be displayed in blue again, though.

    There are some nice pictures there. I wanted to go but unfortunately I had to work. Oh well. Some other time.

    Now, I don’t want to turn this into a political debate, but I want to set some things straight. Much of what is said of Chávez, both in favor and against, is either exaggerated or downright fabricated. There ARE human rights violations going on in Venezuela right now. You don’t have to take my word, plenty of human rights organizations who have documented these issues. But with that said, Venezuela is (at least so far) not Cuba or China, like many people say.

    He might have won most elections he has faced, but don’t be fooled, Chavez is no democrat. It is his disregard for democracy and the chronic economic mismanagement what I resent from his government the most. Whether he is a dictator or not, he’s a pretty inept manager.

    I have mixed feelings regarding Maldonado. As a Venezuelan, I am happy to see him going all the way to F1, and I wish him the best. I think he’s talented and that he will do well. But I resent the fact that anything he achieves will be turned into propaganda by the government. I can’t really blame Maldonado, though. Even if he sometimes often off as an irritating propagandist, if that’s what you need to do to fund your F1 career, wouldn’t you?

    Anyways, good luck Pastor. I am looking forward to this season. And we’ll see how Williams sorts out the livery thing.

    1. ii is so painful to me as a venezuelan F1 fan to read the name of my country in a political debate instead of the achievements of a venezuelan driver. Yes there are a lot of violations going on right now right here, it’s so easy to have an opinion just biased by the news (against or not), but we see things everyday here that are not right. Sorry but it is true

    2. Gasto , You nailed it Pana, I feel the same way, happy in one side, sad on the other

  11. Scott Anderson (@)
    23rd January 2011, 8:46

    Hi Gaston. Too bad you couldn’t go to the Williams demo.

    Regarding the probable Williams livery, your assertion that the Chavez won’t allow PDVSA’s logo in blue, and it must be red, contradicts PDVSA’s recent sponsored car livery.

    EJ Viso’s PDVSA / Venezuela sponsored Indy car is GREEN. The PDVSA logo is white

    Rodolfo Gonzalez’ PDVSA sponsored Euroseries 3000 was BLACK

    Pastor Maldonado’s PDVSA sponsored WSR car was blue, with PDVSA’s logo in white

    So, we could see a blue Williams with white PDVSA logo, just like with Phillips.

    You make it look as if Chavez gets a phone call every time there is a decision to make regarding the colors of a logo on a sponsored car. Your suggestion that he will have something to say in dictating Williams 2011 livery is not very convincing.

    In any case, if PDVSA’s logo is red, for whatever reason, it makes sense for them to demand that in the car. All sponsors make demands on how their logos look. Its normal business.

    As for human rights violations, it happens in every country. The US has the death penalty, and it is mostly applied to blacks. China also executes prisoners. Euro countries consider that totally outrageous. There is police brutality in many countries also, and many other bad things. The thing is that your country is no an exceptional case that merits being isolated from the world, and not worthy of being accepted as as sponsor of an F1 team.

    Your irritation with Maldonado’s achievements potentially being used by Chavez, seems to come from your view that Chavez is a “pretty inept manager”. That’s 100% reasonable. In every country folks are in favor or against their current leader. The important thing is that they have the ability to remove them in democratic elections.

    Believe me, other F1 sponsors like Shell, RBS (oh RBS!), BP, etc have had very inept managers too.

    In any case, it is normal for sponsors to hold events with the drivers they sponsor. Look at the events Fernando Alonso does for Santander bank. TV commercials, magazine ads… Again, normal stuff.

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