Date: 14th October 2013 at 9:26am
Written by:

Did those watching on Sunday morning see the first glimpses that all is not well at Williams F1?

When team-mates fall out it’s never a good thing.

Red Bull Racing might have been able to cover up Multi-21 in Malaysia, but the teams dynamics have never been the same since.

You might ask if it matters as both Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel cruise to both the Formula One Constructors and Drivers championships, but having the team working as a cohesive unit is invariably better than two drivers clashing in the garage and on the track.

The incident in Japan between Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado might not be evidence that the two drivers are at war, but it could certainly be evidence that the Venezuelan’s future at Williams could be coming to an end.

Maldonado passed Bottas for 16th place on the last lap at Suzuka, whilst Maldonado claimed the move was ‘quite clean’, Bottas had to take avoiding action to leave the track to avoid crashing into his team-mate and he described the manoeuvre as ‘not fair’ adding ‘If I hadn’t gone straight on we’d have crashed. Racing shouldn’t be like that.’

The race stewards decided to take no action and deemed it a ‘racing incident’.

But Maldonado went on to slam his teams performance and race strategy.

Speaking to the BBC he added: ‘I got the position. I was faster than him but the strategy on my car was completely wrong. We got 100% from the car.

‘It’s not making any big difference but when you are a racer you always want to take a position from the others.’

The comments will not have gone down well with Williams, especially as Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has recently been in Venezuela holding talks with Venezuela oil company, PDVSA.

PDVSA is a major sponsor for the Williams F1 team and is worth an estimated £30million-a-season to the racing team, their current deal runs till 2015.

Maldonado’s seat at Williams is firmly attached to the PDVSA sponsorship, however Maldonado is reportedly not happy at Williams and has been courting the likes of Lotus, Force India and Sauber.

Lotus look likely to seal deals with Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenburg, while Sauber look set to sign Sergey Sirotkin and keep hold of Esteban Gutierrez.

That leaves Force India, who could be on the market for new drivers with Paul Di Resta at risk of losing his drive due to weight restrictions for 2014, whilst Adrian Sutil has struggled to impress during the later part of the 2013 season.