Pastor Maldonado says he is ‘very happy’ to be leaving Williams at the end of the season, following the announcement that Felipe Massa will partner Valteri Bottas at the team in 2014.
Maldonado memorably won the Spanish Grand Prix last year, his first win in Formula One and Williams’ first victory since 2004, but since then the Venezuelan’s relationship with the team has collapsed after a difficult year, in which the Grove-based squad has picked up just a single point.
The 28-year-old, who has spent three years at Williams, admitted that the decision to leave the team had been made as long ago as the Singapore Grand Prix back in September.
“I am very happy,” said Maldonado, speaking at the FOTA Fan Forum ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
“Since a couple of months I was in conversation with the team and I wanted to leave the team. That is it. I am very happy for that.
“It was my decision. In Singapore I decided to leave the team more or less and it was 100 per cent my decision.”
Maldonado explained that a major factor in his decision to leave the team was the feeling that Williams had failed to deliver a car equal to his talent.
“I think I delivered more to the team than they for me,” he explained.
“We found a victory, we found a very good result last year, and even this year we have been doing quite well races. But this is not everything.
“I am waiting for something more, I am expecting something more from F1.”
Questioned on why his relationship with Williams had turned sour, the 2010 GP2 Champion stated: “For sure it was a tough year, very hard for all the team, and my decision was because I was not good [happy] enough in the team personally.
“I wanted to try something different, and maybe it is a very important time for me and my career. It is a tough decision but a great one.”
Maldonado’s Formula One future is unclear, although the Venezuelan, who comes with vast financial backing from the PDVSA oil company, has been linked with a move to Lotus, should their deal with Quantum Motorsports fail to materialise.
However, the 28-year-old is not discounting a move elsewhere.
“For sure we are talking with Lotus, but I have a couple more options,” he added. “Maybe I have an idea [of what I want to do].
“We are working on that. I hope to have the final decision soon – and a clear route for next year.”
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media