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GP Week : Issue 170
w BRIEFLY » Two factory-based members of the Toro Rosso F1 team were this week electrocuted in Faenza. According to reports in the Italian media, which followed investigations completed by both the police and paramedics, the incident occurred when a forklift truck – which was being used to transport metal across the Faenza factory – ran into electrical wires. One of the injured pair is on the road to recovery, while his colleague is said to be in a serious condition in hospital. In addition to injuring the two staffers, the resulting shock scorched the floor of the building. » Much was made this week of comments made by Pastor Maldonado in which the Venezuelan driver admitted he did not yet know where he would be driving in 2013. “I don't want to talk about it now because the team is still deciding its drivers for next year and I'd rather not answer,” Maldonado said this week. “Of course I hope to be in the best possible position I can be. It is too early to talk about Williams, because they always wait until the end of the season.” While Maldonado’s performances this year have been inconsistent to say the least, the Venezuelan’s funding is reliant on the success of incumbent President Hugo Chavez in the South American country’s elections, which took place on Sunday. While Chavez is unlikely to lose, an end to his presidency will bring about an end to Maldonado’s state funding. As GP WEEK went to press, votes were still being counted and no result had yet been announced. F1 >>> NEWS Former Williams driver Rubens Barrichello caused something of a stir in his native Brazil this week by appearing to be openly critical of the drivers whose substantially financed arrival at the Grove-based team led to his departure from F1. When asked by a Brazilian radio station whether he thought he would have made more of the opportunities offered by the competitive FW34, a car that is streets ahead of the lamentable FW33 in performance terms, Barrichello was frank in his response. “This kind of thought cannot exist, because I am not driving the car and I cannot think what could be or couldn't be with me there,” he said. “But the truth is that the car proved to be very competitive. [Williams] made a good job with that to put the car many positions ahead on the grid. “And it is a shame, because I believe that they should have, at least, double the number of points that they in fact have. This happens of course because of the inexperience of the drivers - who are fast, but don't know how to get the chances that the equipment they have in their hands provides them.” Maldonado was dismissive of his former teammate’s comments when asked by Autosport whether he was aware of what Barrichello had said on Radio Jovem Pan. “He can say whatever he wants,” the Venezuelan driver replied. “He was in the team for two years and it was even worse. I learned a lot from him because of his experience. He was so professional, very competitive and pushing very hard and he was the most experienced guy in F1. “But in terms of potential, it's difficult to say. It's easy to say ‘I'm going to win all of the races’ but you can never say that. I respect his point of view, but we'll see.” RUBENS HITS OUT AT WILLIAMS PAIR 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: