Mar 6, 2013, 9:33 PM EDT
German publication Auto Motor und Sport reported Wednesday that PDVSA support of Williams driver Pastor Maldonado will continue for the immediate future.
Maldonado’s career has been heavily supported by PDVSA and the Venezuelan government. President Hugo Chavez passed away Tuesday at age 58.
A Williams source said to its correspondent, “The (PDVSA) contract is watertight and will continue even after the death of Chavez.”
PDVSA is the largest sponsor at Williams, which has opted to promote its reserve driver Valtteri Bottas to its second race seat for 2013. The team had Bruno Senna in that seat in 2012; Senna had some Brazilian financial support behind him.
Other series in the U.S. such as IndyCar and the two sports car racing championships (GRAND-AM and ALMS) have some drivers who also have Venezuelan support of their racing efforts. Nelson Canache won his class in GRAND-AM’s Rolex 24 at Daytona race in January, the first Venezuelan driver to do so in the 51-year history of the event.