Monte Carlo, Monaco. Wednesday 21 May 2014. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1, is interviewed. World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _FER0713

has had a difficult season with in 2014, leading many to speculate whether the Venezualan would be able to keep his ride if he lost his financial backing. (Photo: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic)

Pastor Maldonado has denied suggestions that his PDVSA backing is under threat, after Venezuela’s sports minister said that there would be no more support for the country’s racing drivers.

Maldonado insisted that Antonio Alvarez had nothing to do with PDVSA’s sponsorship of Lotus.

“It was exactly the same last year, and here I am,” said the Lotus driver in Monaco today. “I think always when Venezuela is moving or whatever, you always relate that with me. I mean, the sports minister is not sponsoring me.

“The sport minister was sponsoring a lot of drivers before. Last year there was a big impact history in motor sport, for the Venezuelan government and all the Venezuelan guys, because most of these drivers were stealing money from the government, and apart from that PDVSA is not my sponsor it’s a team sponsor, and I don’t know the real situation against the team and against PDVSA. The best thing would be to ask the team or the PDVSA guys.

“I have a good relationship. We’ve been working for very long, more than 10 years at the moment, and I don’t see any reason to stop. If they stop, it’s not my decision.”

Maldonado was keen to distance the oil company from any decision by the minister: “The information I have is that the oil company didn’t talk about the sponsoring in F1. It was some communication from the sports minister, and that’s it. The minister of sport is not supporting F1.”