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DATE News (chronologically)
11/21/11
f1
Williams could lose PDVSA sponsorship UPDATE
Pastor Maldonado (L) could lose his financial backing
(GMM)  Like his teammate Rubens Barrichello, Pastor Maldonado might also be feeling nervous about his Williams race seat beyond Sunday's 2011 season finale.

Last time out in Abu Dhabi, team boss Sir Frank Williams admitted that, despite Maldonado's lucrative sponsorship by the state owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, it is "not clear exactly who will be in both cars" next year.

Days later, it emerged that the Venezuelan parliament has been asking questions about Williams' PDVSA deal, with Speed Week reporting that it may not be "in compliance" with normal government approval processes.

Williams did not respond when asked for confirmation that Venezuelan politicians have been in contact.

But if the money is in danger, then so too would be rookie Maldonado's seat, with the deal said to be worth more than $30 million a year to the famous British team.

11/17/11 Williams main sponsor PDVSA might be in a spot of trouble, as it has been rumored that their sponsorship of the Williams team, might be illegal.

For this season Pastor Maldonado were brought into F1 by a sponsorship from PDVSA, the government-owned Venezuelan petroleum company, and it is believed that the company, read: the government, paid a large sum of money for their name to be on the side of the cars and the drivers overalls. But a congressman have started to investigate the deal a little further, and he doesn’t like what he sees. zzzz

Congressman Carlos Ramos says that no one in the Venezuelan government knows the details of the agreement, which could be worth anything from £100m to £154m, depending on the coverage of the PDVSA logo. The law in Venezuela means that no public funds can be used to sponsor projects like a F1 team, at least not with the consent of the congress. Ramos also states, that he has found no records of a contract, no signs of a deal being made at all.

In a letter to the Williams media office, Ramos writes:

“My name is Carlos Ramos. I am an elected Venezuelan congressman.

Further to Williams F1 sponsorship contract with PDVSA, I would like to ask for a copy of the original contract between Williams F1 and PDVSA, for the purpose of an ongoing investigation in this respect that a commission of the Venezuelan Congress is undertaking.

As you may be aware, according to Venezuela’s legislation, expenditure of the sort has to be approved by Congress. You may also be aware that our Congress granted no approval to the sponsorship contract between Williams F1 and PDVSA.

Therefore, I should be grateful if you could provide the following information:

  • Amount disbursed to date to Williams F1 by PDVSA.
  • Evidence of payments made to date to Williams F1 by PDVSA.

I look forward to your reply while I remain at your service for any queries you may have in this respect.

Faithfully yours,

Congressman Carlos Ramos”

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