Pastor Maldonado made his Formula 1 debut when he joined Williams for the 2011 season. He scored his first world championship point at the Belgian Grand Prix and he finished 19th in the drivers' championship. He is retained by Williams for the 2012 season.
Between the ages of seven and 15, Maldonado secured eight karting titles in Venezuela. In 2003 he moved to Europe for his first full season in single-seaters, which saw him finish seventh in the Italian Formula Renault Series. The following year he became the series champion with eight wins and he gained his first taste of Formula 1 machinery with Minardi.
In 2005, Maldonado contested just four races in Italy's Formula 3000 championship. It was still enough to be ranked ninth overall and he also did nine events in the Spanish World Series by Renault series, with a best result of seventh.
Maldonado finished third in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in '06 with three wins and six podiums, and he graduated to GP2 the following year. Following a win at Monaco in 2007, he sustained a broken collarbone in a training accident and he was sidelined for the rest of the season.
In 2008, he returned to GP2, where he remained until the end of 2010. He racked up 10 wins, 13 podiums, a Best Rookie Award and a title win along the way.