Pastor Maldonado denies his F1 funding is in jeopardy

Pastor Maldonado says his Formula 1 career will be unaffected if the Venezuelan sports ministry stops financially supporting motorsport

Pastor Maldonado denies his F1 funding is in jeopardy

Rumours surfaced this week that Maldonado's backing from state oil company PDVSA could be under threat, after the Venezuelan sports minister Antonio Alvarez suggested the country would no longer financially support motor racing.

But Maldonado said the two parties were unconnected, meaning any move made by the sports ministry would not affect his F1 programme.

"It was exactly the same last year, but here I am!" said Maldonado when asked about suggestions PDVSA would cut its funding.

"When Venezuela is moving [the press] always [associate] that with me, but the sport minister is not sponsoring me.

"The PDVSA programme [is] not in the sport minister's programme; they are separate.

"The oil company didn't talk about sponsorship in Formula 1. It was a communication from the sport minister, and that's it, the ministry of sport does not support Formula 1."

Maldonado says PDVSA is no longer his personal sponsor, having instead cut deals with the teams he has raced for in F1 so far.

The Lotus driver also reckons he is good enough to remain in F1 regardless of any particular financial support.

"I think I have everything [I need] to be here - if you look at my career, I've won [races] in all the categories, even in Formula 1, which is not the case for many drivers here," Maldonado added.

"Apart from that PDVSA is not my sponsor, it's a team sponsor.

"I don't know the real situation against the team and the PDVSA; it would be best to ask the team or the PDVSA guys.

"I lost PDVSA [as a personal sponsor] when I won the GP2 championship, and now for sure they are following me wherever I go.

"We have a good relationship, and we've been working together for a very long time, more than 10 years, so I don't see any reason to stop. If they stop, it's not my decision."

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