Maldonado keeps his options open

  • Last Updated: October 9 2012, 12:02 BST

Pastor Maldonado has stopped short of committing himself to Williams, despite being in negotiations over a deal for 2013.

Pastor Maldonado: 'It is still too early'

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Maldonado finished eighth in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix to record his first points since winning the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

A mixture of on-track incidents and mechanical troubles has limited the Venezuelan's points-scoring potential, but his performance at Suzuka comes as a welcome boost ahead of the final five races of the season.

Williams are likely to want to hang on to the 27-year-old, who in addition to his proven speed brings big-money backing from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.

But, while Maldonado is talking over remaining with Williams next year, he remains open to offers, although it is understood Williams are the only team he has so far held discussions with.

He said: "At the moment there is a chance to go to other teams but we are considering remaining here, but it is still too early.

"The team usually confirm their drivers at the end of the season but we are talking, negotiating.

"This is a good family for me I feel really good here, they feel really happy with me but we know how Formula One is, it can change one day from another.

"It is difficult to say, until other teams have confirmed their drivers you never know. It is difficult. I need to keep pushing, doing my job in the team to try and get some points and we will see."

And he insisted his position with Williams, who also have to decide whether to promote impressive reserve driver Valtteri Bottas to a race seat, does not depend on continued backing from PDVSA.

"PDVSA is a serious company. I've known them for a long time and it is going to be all good I think because we have a contract and they have been always supporting my career in the past," he said.

"In Venezuela everyone is happy to see me in F1. We won one race this year which is amazing for my second year in F1.

"We haven't had the best car but we still managed to win. We are working very hard on the car and, as you know, I have a lot of responsibility in this team because I am the top driver here.

"It is difficult to accept that we miss many points this year, but it is never too late to recover."

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