Rosberg to Ferrari, Maldonado to Lotus? (2nd Update)


Will Maldonado take his Venezuelan money to Lotus?

(GMM) As Kimi Raikkonen moves closer to filling Mark Webber's spot at Red Bull next year, Pastor Maldonado has yet again denied talking to Lotus to replace the Finn.

It has been suggested Venezuelan Maldonado, with his 2012 Barcelona-winning speed and his millions in PDVSA backing, might be a good choice as Lotus faces the possibility of replacing Raikkonen.

But "Regarding the rumors," the 28-year-old told Spanish newspaper Marca at Silverstone, "I am 100 per cent focused on Williams.

"To this day I have not spoken to any team, this is true and I hope to be here next season. I say that because it depends not only on me but on other factors.

"Let's see what the future brings," Maldonado added.

"I see the rumors every day but it's hard to imagine something happening. Clearly I'm not happy with the performance this season, I will not hide that and we need to solve our problems.

"But I believe that we have a great potential in the team and we cannot stay where we are.

"We have all the tools to fight for the championship, so we're not going to give up," he added.

06/09/13 (GMM) Pastor Maldonado has played down rumors he could be shaping up to leave crisis-struck Williams.

It is now more than a year since the Venezuelan broke through for his maiden win, with Barcelona 2012 seen at the time as the end of the great British team's long slump.

But in 2013, Williams is back in the doldrums, even though Valtteri Bottas has qualified third on a wet day in Canada.

"I think the fact is in the dry the car doesn't belong in P3," the Finn immediately admitted.

Williams' troubles have triggered rumors Maldonado might be in talks with Lotus about 2014, with the Enstone team perhaps needing to replace Kimi Raikkonen, and definitely in the mood to welcome a big sponsor like PDVSA.

Maldonado told Spain's Marca newspaper in Montreal: "I am 100 per cent focused on this (Williams) car.

"We are having a bad year, but that can happen to any team. I think I'm with the best team a young driver aspiring to something more in F1 can be with.

"Williams is not a small team, it's an historic team looking to get back. And I want to fight for the title with them.

"We have everything you need to do that, and I want to win here before going anywhere else," he insisted.

Meanwhile, Speed Week reports that Maldonado's wife Gaby is due to give birth to their first child – a girl – in September.

Having proven he is faster than Lewis Hamilton, is Rosberg now ready to take on Alonso at Ferrari?

06/08/13 (GMM) Summer in Europe has arrived, and that is the usual trigger for 'silly season'.

Spain's Marca sports newspaper said the first driver rumor in the Montreal paddock this weekend is that Felipe Massa is "impatient" for a new Ferrari contract for 2014.

But Germany's Bild newspaper said the Maranello based team actually has its eye on two Germans — reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, and Monaco winner Nico Rosberg.

Regarding Mercedes' Rosberg, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said: "He is certainly one of the drivers that we have already considered.

"I'm not surprised that he is faster than Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. He has always been good, but now he has shown that he has matured."

Another rumor, according to Marca correspondent Marco Canseco, is that Williams' Pastor Maldonado is a possible successor in the event Lotus loses Kimi Raikkonen to Red Bull.

"The arrival of PDVSA as a team sponsor would be welcomed by (team owner) Gerard Lopez, of course," said Canseco.

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