THE question went like this: "You are supported by Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and also the Venezuelan state government. How did that happen?" The question was posed by a journalist of the official Formula 1 website to aspiring F1 driver Pastor Maldonado, from Venezuela, who's been testing for Hispania Racing Team and Williams in the last few days in Abu Dhabi.
Maldonado, who won the GP2 title this year, has been mentioned as a possible replacement of Nico Hulkenberg, at Frank Williams F1 team. It has also been mentioned, in other reports, that Maldonado's entry to F1 is believed to be worth as much as $15 million to the Williams team.
Now, don't get me wrong on this one. Being a petrol head, I would love to see a fellow Venezuelan competing in the highest category of motor sports, and bring back the good old memories from the 80ies, when Venezuelan drivers were regulars at the top categories. Personally, I hold nothing against Pastor Maldonado.
What I find objectionable, is that Hugo Chavez's oil firm, PDVSA, is spending $15 million of Venezuelan taxpayer money in this adventure. Mind you, we've been told by Chavez, over and over, that capitalism needs to be destroyed, that Venezuelan oligarchs are the scum of the earth, that PDVSA is now wholly devoted to social aims and to alleviate the suffering of the disenfranchised, etc., etc., and YET, he is paying his way into the world's most exclusive, expensive, bourgeois, elitist, and capitalist sport, read Formula 1. If there's one anti thesis of whatever Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution represents, that is Formula 1. Can someone please explain this one to me?
As per the $15 million that Maldonado will bring to the Williams team, Mr. Williams should ponder about the consequences to his hard earned reputation should he accept money from Chavez.