AUSTIN, November 16th, 2013 (AFP) - Deputy team chief Claire Williams on Saturday rejected all insinuations of sabotage made by want-away driver Pastor
Maldonado against the British Formula One team.
Venezuelan Maldonado had suggested his poor performance in qualifying at the United States Grand Prix was the result of "dirty tricks" including altering tyre pressures and temperatures.
He told reporters: "I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure and the temperatures."
When asked to explain and elaborate, he added: "You need to ask the team, the guys that are working on the car, it is quite clear..."
In Saturday's qualifying session, Maldonado failed to make progress beyond Q1 while team-mate Valtteri Bottas reached the top ten shootout and qualifed
ninth, nine places ahead of him.
Williams later said: "Qualifying is a big adrenaline rush for drivers and so I'm not surprised by that, people say things after these kind of situations.
"We will go back and talk to the engineers and find out what happened, but never in Williams' history would we ever do anything like that."
Two days earlier, in a pre-race media news briefing, a prickly Maldonado told reporters: "I think I delivered more to the team than they did for me."
The moody Maldonado, who has been at Williams for three years, has scored the team's only point this year and last year won the Spanish Grand Prix.
Williams, daughter of team founder and principal Frank Williams, denied widespread rumours of a bad-tempered split in the team.
"Within the team, behind closed doors, it's not acrimonious," she said.
"There's not that kind of atmosphere in the team. I don't see any sort of issue.
"Pastor has said he wants to go to another team and that's absolutely fine -- this is Formula One. It's the nature of the beast."
Maldonado has been strongly linked with a move to Lotus or Sauber next season.