Formula One: Pastor Maldonado career and country

Published 1415 GMT (2215 HKT) October 1, 2013
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Pastor Maldonado (right) was encouraged into Formula One by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who took a personal interest in motorsport. JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images
Venezuela is right behind Pastor Maldonado -- especially because the Latin American country's state oil company PDVSA funds his drive for the Williams F1 team. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Maldonado says interest and expectation grew in Venezuela after he stormed to victory in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix for Williams. It was the team's first win since 2004 and the first ever victory in F1 for a Venezuelan racer. JOSEP LAGO/AFP/GettyImages
Teenager Sergey Sirotkin is expected to be bankrolled by Russian money into an F1 drive with Sauber in 2014. Countries directly backing drivers and teams is a developing trend in motorsport. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images
Maldonado is already investing in the future of Venezuelan motorsport by working with his foundation to find the next generation of racers. Williams F1 team