Pastor Maldonado delighted his home fans with a demonstration run for Williams on the streets of Caracas on Friday - as his team bosses announced a major new sponsorship deal with energy company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA).
Maldonado completed a series of laps of a temporary track laid out near the famous Paseo de los Proceres monument in front of an estimated 20,000 strong crowd - which included President Chavez.
Speaking about his runs in a Williams FW32, Maldonado said: "It was unbelievable to share this experience with my countrymen. The amount of people that turned out to watch was just amazing."
Immediately after the runs, Williams confirmed a long-term partnership deal with PDVSA - which is Venezuela's national energy company. The deal will see the company's logos feature on the team's car and driver overalls.
Team boss Frank Williams said: "We are very grateful to PDVSA for having joined our team. They are a substantial partner and can make a meaningful difference to our fighting ability."