Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Interlagos, 2013

Maldonado confirmed at Lotus in 2014

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Interlagos, 2013Pastor Maldonado will drive for Lotus in 2014, the team has confirmed.

The Venezuelan driver, who spent his first three seasons in F1 with Williams, will partner Romain Grosjean at the team next year.

Maldonado said his move to Lotus is “fantastic opportunity”.

“It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula One career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season.”

“It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season,” said team princpal Eric Boullier.

“He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge.”

“Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado; a driver I have known since he drove for me at DAMS in the 2005 World Series by Renault season,” he added.

“It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential – demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team – and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track.

“We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years and we are confident that we have a very good solution to all the challenges ahead. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

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305 comments on “Maldonado confirmed at Lotus in 2014”

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  1. I’m so done. What a joke.

    1. @philereid EXACTLY my feelings.

      Game over… very very over…

        1. This is why Lotus have no money. They spend all of it making front wings that keep getting destroyed by the crate every race weekend! And now they’ll have two drivers knocking their front wings off against other people. Although hopefully Grosjean wont have many incidents anymore.

          1. Wow….
            I can’t believe what I just read….
            Their chances of challenging for 2nd next year have just been destroyed.

            “It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential… through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team”

            In 2011, he scored 1 point…
            In 2012, he scored 45 points in a car that according to this, was at times the 2nd or 3rd fastest car on the grid.
            In 2013, Maldonado again scored only 1 point and got outscored by a rookie…

            Strong Races??

    2. I don’t think this was a surprise. He has the juiciest sponsorship, i believe, so he can choose any of the teams that need money. It’s not like he is slow either. I think Lotus is just hoping he will stop crashing.

      1. Not wanting to copy you @ThrillerWA09 but…


    3. My favourite team is out…. have to support McLaren of Ferrari now… I don’t know what to do… so broke.

      1. I’m right with you. That’s the end of my support for Lotus when they bring this sort of driver into the team. First they make a huge mistake in shafting Kimi, now they decide that mistake wasn’t big enough and bring this piece of work into the team.

        1. Yes but don’t forget that Lotus have been shafted by Bernie 1st.

    4. Harsh IMO. Maldonado isn’t exactly deserving of a top seat but frankly, neither was/is Grosjean, Massa, Kovalainen or Magnussen.

      Personally, I’m quite looking forward to seeing how he gets on next year. Ok, I’d rather Hulk got the seat but as he hasn’t, Maldonado should certainly provide some interesting moments.

      1. The drivers in bold are race winners

        Pos Driver Team/Car
        1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
        2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
        3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
        4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

        5. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari
        6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
        7. Felipe Massa Ferrari
        8. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes
        9. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari
        10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
        11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
        12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
        13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari
        14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
        15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault
        16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari
        17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
        18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault
        19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault
        20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth
        21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth
        22. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault

        That puts Maldonado in pretty illustrious company. And he did it in a Williams too.
        No doubt money is involved, no doubt his media skills are lacking, but i think there’ll be some red faces come this time next year.

        1. Yep. Mad media and PR aside, he’s a top driver.

        2. Well Frank did say, ‘Not bad for a pay driver..’

          I think he has talent but not enough to oust others on the grid and waiting in the wings.

          1. He has talent, but not as much as Hulkenberg.

          2. “Not bad for a pay driver” does nothing
            to suggest that he is a good driver, Frank, if you are suggesting that he is a good driver YOU ARE WRONG!!!

        3. Question, how have you ordered the “pos” part of your list? It seems decidedly random…

          1. FlyingLobster27
            29th November 2013, 18:17

            Isn’t that the Abu Dhabi GP grid?

          2. @FlyingLobster27: HAHA yes it is.

          3. Could well be FlyingLobster

        4. I agree. As much as I would’ve loved to have seen the Hulk at Lotus, I don’t think Maldanado is a ridiculous choice. He’s clearly got pace, he’s won a race and he usually goes well at places like Monaco where a driver can transcend the car.

          Given his decent qualifying pace, it’ll be interesting to see how he does against Grosjean who often out-qualified Kimi this year.

        5. @danbrown180
          People’s emotions aside, he’s a great driver.
          And Lotus has quite a strong pairing for 2014. So does Force India.

          1. If he is a great driver god knows what people like Kimi, vettel, alonso are. He isn’t better than Nico, had Nico been at williams longer he prolly would have gotten that win that makes Pastor suddenly such a “great” driver.

        6. -1
          uh year right, but if Williams hadn’t booted Hulk in the first place for PM’s money then Hulk might very well be in bold too.

      2. Steph (@stephanief1990)
        29th November 2013, 17:48

        @petebaldwin the only interesting moments of Pastor’s F1 career have been when he’s deliberately crashed into other cars.

        1. @stephanief1990 and @daved – So you didn’t find him winning in Spain to give Williams their first win in years interesting?

          1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
            29th November 2013, 20:43

            @petebaldwin not really; Williams winning was nice but I didn’t enjoy him winning. He should have been banned from racing anyway and then the car that weekend was pretty good. I don’t see anything special about him and we certainly don’t need a driver of that character on the grid. He is actually a danger to others. Besides, he was only up against Senna that weekend, let’s see how he does against RoGro.

          2. @stephanief1990 – I think we need exactly that sort of character on the grid rather than media friendly drones like the majority of them! Someone who blows a fuse every once and a while and gets angry!

            I totally get why people don’t like him – I don’t either. It just seems mental though to say that a driver who has won the GP2 championship in a “meh” sort of team against Bianchi and Perez is slow.

          3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
            30th November 2013, 7:57

            @stephanief1990 – You weren’t impressed by Maldonado soaking up lap after lap of pressure from Alonso in front of his home crowd?

            The sport needs all the characters it can get, the fact so many fans seem to hate Maldonado is surely a good thing. What is the point of 22 drivers you either like or are nonplussed about?

          4. No, I don’t find him impressive at all. He only has a seat because he’s a paid driver, else no team would touch him. He’s toxic as shown by his really aggressive moves against a team mate for NO points at the end of a race where he could have caused the team to have to build TWO new chassis. When you add in his disgusting conspiracy theory comments that Williams was trying to “sabotage me” because he couldn’t qualify any better….he’d be better off wearing a tinfoil hat and hating all of “them” who he thinks are keeping him down.
            He can take all that Chevron money and go rot with Chavez as far as I’m concerned.

      3. But if Lotus have to have Maldonado to survive they are heading to the back of the grid anyway.

        1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
          30th November 2013, 10:48

          @jackisthestig @petebaldwin do you think the sport needs characters like Piquet Jnr and Maldonado who bring the sport into disrepute and put people in danger? We have very different ideas on what should be valued when it comes to character if so.

          1. or Schumacher……

          2. Chris_Harrison
            30th November 2013, 16:48

            Or Prost or Senna.

      4. They should of signed nico hulkinberg

    5. I agree.

      If somebody had said Grosjean and Maldonado together, at the end of last year… Well lets just put it this way: crash.

    6. Where is Mr Mansoor with his quantum money…

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        30th November 2013, 8:04

        He’s probably a charlatan who, in reality, lives in a council house in Basingstoke.

        1. Tango and Cash would be better :)

    7. Carlos Furtado das Neves
      29th November 2013, 19:58

      Unbelievable, guys. Unacceptable
      Venezuelan PetroDolars in full charge.
      And Hulkenberg in a Sauber… Unbelievable!!!

    8. If Lotus are on the grid next season this is a pretty good line up. I just hope for Grosjean’s sake he wont have another half a season. If Boullier was not his manager he would be out long time ago.

      1. It’s not the end of the world apparently Hulk is bound to drive for FI again. I think to pick Kvyatt is more scandalous, even though I firmly believe in his youthful ignorant talent, he could be moulded in the same clay that moulded Vettel, the problem is the same a driver works hard and smart and is left out because no one is wiling to take a leap of faith, teams take the safe rope and still argue they are in for racing. It’s a desperate times attitude but I must underline that I was most certain that McLaren were to sign another pay-driver and I was wrong and McLaren is not properly swimming in cash, JB isn’t worth that much.

    9. @philereid

      I’ve gone through six pages of comments, and have noticed that the standing majority of them have two things in common:

      1) They’re universally negative.

      2) They completely fail to address the urgent issue raised here.

      For some reason, people seem to think that Formula 1 still exists in a state where the most talented drivers will get the best seats, that the biggest sponsors will attach themselves to those drivers, and that anyone paying for a seat will be left to fight over anything that is left. Time and time again, history has demonstrated that this is not the case, and yet people still get upset when it happens. But they choose to attack the symptoms, rather than the underlying disease.

      It has been known for some time that Lotus was depending on the money from Quantum for their survival, and that Hulkenberg’s presence in the team was contingent upon them getting that money. Since Lotus have taken Maldonado, it is obvious (as if it was not increasingly so) that the money from Quantum hasn’t arrived. No Quantum means no Hulkenberg. How can Lotus reasonably take Hulkenberg without the financial support from Quantum if it means jeopardising the future of the team? Maldonado is believed to have $40 million in sponsorship for each year of his contract, which is no small amount.

      Apparently no-one is interested in this, though. Apparently, it’s all Pastor Maldonado’s fault for executing the heist of the century and stealing a seat that was rightfully (though never guaranteed) to be Hulkenberg’s, armed with nothing more than money, charisma and conspirational guile. But isn’t the more pressing issue the circumstances that have forced Lotus to take Maldonado? We’re so far away from that idealised world where the best drivers get the best seats regardless of money that it’s frightening, and yet everyone is too busy to figure out how we got here and try to find a way out of it. Instead, we’ve got comments disparaging of the team, disparaging of Maldonado, and hollow dramatic statements of quitting the sport because a team chose the best driver available to them given the circumstances and that that driver was not the driver everyone assumed it would be.

      Let’s face it – Maldonado is never going to be popular. He could save a busload of orphans and their brand-new puppies from drowning, and he’d still receive death threats for it (ironically, everyone complains that the drivers have no personality these days, and yet here is Maldonado cast as the perfect villain, and everyone wants him out). But prove to me that Lotus took Maldonado solely for the money. How do you know that Nico Hulkenberg talked with the team about 2014 and decided that he didn’t like the direction they were going because they lost James Allison? How do you know that he didn’t receive a better offer from another team that has a much moer stable financial situation? How do you know that Nico Hulkenberg did not walk away from Lotus for reasons that were entirely his own and that Lotus were forced to look to the next best alternative?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I probably should have made myself clear. I was targeting F1’s state as a whole, rather than just Maldonado. The fact is, it’s not surprising, but it should be surprising. The fact there are around half the teams struggling with funds, it’s a ridiculous situation to be in, and whilst the top-teams keep on pumping the money, it’s not going to be an issue that’s solved any time soon.
        I don’t blame Lotus for taking him, as we all know if they had money from elsewhere, they’d have taken it, along with Hulkenburg. I am also not that angry that it’s Maldonado that has the seat. Yes I wanted Hulkenburg in the seat, but that was more because at the time I thought it was Lotus or nowhere for Hulkenburg, and that would have been absolutely ridiculous, but now there are stories that he has been signed by Force India, as well as a contract offer from Sauber, should he choose to stay, so that makes it a lot easier.
        I’m actually relatively excited to see what Maldonado can do with a possibly good car (no guarantees it will be a good car).
        So yeah, by ‘what a joke,’ I mean the state that F1 is currently in where so many teams are heavily reliant on the money drivers bring, that they can’t hope to have a strong line-up. Heck, Maldonado may well be a revelation in the Lotus if it’s good, we know he’s blindingly quick, just not all that often.
        Also, I didn’t once say it was Maldonado’s fault. It’s not his fault, how could it be? He has money, he does have speed, and he wasn’t the one who forced his way to the team, he was asked into the team, mostly for money, but then if that was the case, why not Chilton, or another pay driver? Because at least Maldonado does have some frightening raw pace. Tone his crashing tendencies and he could be a force to be reckoned with.
        But seriously, F1 needs a major financial overhaul. Whilst Bernie brought F1 to the masses, and made it more widely accessible, and brings in new tracks all the time, and got F1 to a pretty good state, it’s not gone too far down the commercialization root that it’s losing it’s flair and beauty which makes it a fantastic sport. But the question is, how to you cut down spending, and evenly distribute what would be a bigger prize fund at the end of the year due to a higher percentage being pumped back into the sport, instead of already wealthy individuals pockets. What incentive do big teams – who are spending huge amounts and winning – have to do this? I think the first step is bring a bigger prize fund for the sport, and a slightly more evenly distributed one. The winners of the constructors would get roughly the same as they do now, maybe slightly more, and the positions behind in the constructors would definitely get more than they do now, but still a smaller percentage than ahead, but not as bigger margin. This way, the second phase could be implemented, which would to obviously be to bring in a proper and enforced RRA, where teams can not go off and shelter their money elsewhere in other companies, everything would have to be done in house. Maybe after phase one, top spending teams would be more willing to agree to an RRA, but… Maybe they wont, and that’s the sad thing.

      2. +1 and for a fairly well reasoned article that shows the pros and cons of Maldonado at Lotus, see Phillip Horton’s article at

        1. @paul-a thanks for pointing to the article. Read through the article – Interesting I should say. As an long time F1 fan, I have to say this.

          Out of the blue are we all surprised today that money rules Formula 1 and racing in general ? Where were we when Marlboro was bank rolling McLaren into fame, or Rothmans bank rolling Williams. How about Marlboro and West spending huge amounts of money on Ferrari and McLaren? Why was there a silence when Santander backs Alonso ? Well going to the past as we see in the movie Rush, Nikki Lauda comes with a box full of money and forces his way into Ferrari. Even the great Ayrton Senna hailed from a very wealthy family.

          From the very beginning Racing is all about money. Unlike other sports it has lots of logistics and has a lot of spending in form of fuel, parts, engineering etc. This is true for any form of racing. Kids who are extremely talented drop out at the age of 10 from kart racing because their parents cannot find the money or they literally go bankrupt. I was watching a documentary named “Racing Dreams” about kids getting into the NASCAR through the karting route. In the end the champion of that particular year who is extremely talented drops out while an other kid who comes second makes it because his dad could afford it and a girl makes it because NASCAR wanted diversity. So it is not all that new.

          I like Hulkenberg a lot and would love to see him winning races and in a winning car too. But lets just accept the fact that there is a lot of bias & hatred towards Maldonado. I was wondering if there will be so much negativity if a European or British racer does the act of Maldonado replacing Hulkenberg in Lotus .

          I could be wrong, but It is hard for me to ignore the racial undertones of comments like these.

          It is as if only Maldonado and Perez were the only crash kids ever in F1 !!! Yeah Romain had to sit out a race with a penalty due to his crashes, Vettel was called a crash kid . I could go on but just these are a couple of examples.

          I remember Lewis quoting a few weeks back that F1 needs diversity. F1 has never been kind to Latin American Racers ( please don’t say Senna !!! we all know what he went through when he was alive, that documentary was clear enough !!!!) or Montoya for that matter. He ran away from the scene mid way !!!! Why am i surprised to find that all the Latin American racers ( Perez, Maldonado, Guttierez and Massa ) find it hard to get some respect and in many cases a good drive. I started to realize these diversity factors when Lewis was speaking about the fact that he is very proud that he could be a WDC and in top form of the sport despite being a person of color. (Of course no one can forget what happened in Spain in 2008 !!!)

          I am not saying we F1 fans are racists. All I am saying is that this sport needs diversity and we need to do a better job accepting people from other culture. If that is not the case, lets just make it a European sport and do away with the rest. There will be less problems and more talents. As quoted by callback in his comment “Motorsport is a gentleman’s Sport” !!!! lets define the gentlemen !!!! Unfortunately as Europe is going through a financial crisis , a lot of money comes from the Non European avenues. So that is hard to ignore these other sources. We cannot say that we want the Non-European money but not the representation. That is hard act to do. Or Maybe we can lift our “Moral Veil” and let the Tobaccos back in. That might solve this crisis !!!!

          Would I be surprised if Maldonado is booed on the Podium next year ? No !!!!!

          1. @tmax I do not agree there is any “racial undertone” to the comment you’ve linked to. It seems to me the comment refers to a perception that the two drivers in question get involved in a lot of incidents on the track.

          2. It seems that I can’t reply to Keith’s comment, with which I agree. However, (and whatever the legal definition of racism might be), this world (and this list) does contain racial undertones. Let’s face it, Hamilton changed F1; NASCAR (based in the “land of the free”) has very few black drivers (not sure, I don’t really follow it, but isn’t Darrell Wallace only the fourth – and he came from NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity” program); I have been flabbergasted by some of the comments here surrounding Bahrain; Vettel has been booed; I seem to remember some problems in Spain; etc etc.

            It’s not right, but shouldn’t be swept under the rug as though it didn’t exist.

            I’ll get back tomorrow with a more detailed reply to the other points you raise.

          3. @keithcollantine As I said I could be wrong and I hope i am. As I said there are not specific statements here but I was feeling more of the undertones there like the following.

            In my opinion it is good for Formula 1 that “hudlums ” like Perez and Maldonado

            1) It was not exactly a specific reference it was becoming more generic in the form of Hudlums like …..

            Motorsport is a gentlemans sport. If you want to see sluggers, go watch boxing

            2) While I agree that these drivers have been involved in incidents but I can say that these are not the only 2 drivers who are ever involved in incidents. RoGro was worse last year…..

            3) For all you know It might be a strange co-incidence and it was an unintentional reference but somewhere i felt the line was crossed from the criticism of a bad driving to a little hatred ….

          4. @keithcollantine Just to add to the point. I was reading other comments. the kinds of reference that Maldonado gets from “Toxic piece of Garbage” , “bald venezuelan”, “Hudlum” …. I am not exactly sure what is the crime that Maldonado committed here.

            1) That he had a spat with Williams team in the heat of the moment. Oh yeah Lewis Tweeted some settings last year when he was upset with Mclaren. [ I did not see such name calling on Lewis last year !!! ]

            2) That he had a lot of racing incidents.

            3) That he has a lot of money backing….

            4) That he replaced Hulkenberg ??? [ I like him he is a good driver, but looks like he has a cult following now !!!! ]

          5. You wrote: “From the very beginning Racing is all about money.” When F1 (or at least the “GP circuit”) started, drivers were paid Prize money by the race organizers — very few got “start” money, and even less were under contract. For example, when Tony Brooks won the Italian GP in 1958 (with a Vanwall designed by Colin Chapman and Frank Costin) the prize money was about $2,000 (can’t find the exact sum in Italian Lire.) Brooks was a dentist when not racing, and paid his own expenses.

            When I got deeply involved in the 1960s, I was based in France and had a big, old house not far from Charade (the French GP circuit near Clermont Ferrand.) A number of drivers and other team members used to stay at my place to avoid hotel bills.

            So, your “all about money” was true “in the very beginning”, but probably not in quite the way you meant it ;=}

      3. @prisoner-monkeys

        I like to dislike Maldonado :)

    10. His sponsors will pay for Lotus development.
      I won’t expect anything from Lotus 2014.

  2. Such a shame Hülkenberg wasn’t picked!
    Lotus must be in deep trouble with it’s money.

    1. Hulk signed for Force India a week ago…

      1. I really want Force India to announce Parez and Hulk now. This will make their lineup the best in the midfield.

      2. He signed a long time before that but had until this week to decide whether to take the option or not.

    2. I honestly hope Lotus build a rubbish car next year, to show up what a difference a good driver makes.

      1. @vettel1
        Actually, I would like them to build a massive car.
        That way Maldonardo will have no excuses when he makes a mess of practically everything.

        1. @mads I think he will do well in that situation though, since there’s nothing to hit.

          1. No, he’ll just spin and blame the kerbs, or ‘excessive torque’ or something.

          2. @vettel1
            Only if he qualifies at the front, which does seem rather unlikely when his rookie team mate beat him in that discipline.

          3. Of course, but Pastor “Driving God” Maldonado only crashes into the barriers because they didn’t “leava the space” ;) (random quotations, to clarify)

          4. @hamilfan hahaha :) very good video!

      2. @vettel1 The possibility is definitely there considering they’ve lost key personnel. I am actually glad Hulkenberg didn’t sign for Lotus, because it would’ve made a future move to Ferrari/McLaren (possibly 2015) difficult. Maldonado is a signing the makes sense because first and foremost Lotus need to put two cars on the grid, and he does have the pace to do well. His clumsiness needs to be sorted now though. He’s had 3 seasons to correct that and it hasn’t improved vastly.

        1. I can definitely see the logic @deej92, I’m just hoping Hülkenberg doesn’t fall into oblivion because of this decision.

          1. My feelings exactly, but hopefully talent will prevail eventually and he’ll get that desired move.

          2. @vettel1 Hulk has now a bad tag for only staying one year each time, but he has proven himself for quite some time so in a way I can understand his frustration not to find any top seat but he has to be carefull to stay in top form. Hope Force India produce a decent car and let him express himself.

            In the other hand I hope Grosjean will crush (and not crash, or mayber crash as well) Maldonado next year. Grosjean was in impressive form for the second half of the season where Maldonado is still surfing on a lucky day, lucky win. At least he took advantage of the opportunity, but after that ? Haven’t seen him on track at all this season, maybe on a land mower in the background. And I am quite annoyed to see what money can buy you in F1 these days …
            Let’s hope he will be a one year anomaly, and more PR moment where we wonder how, why, again ?

    3. I´m not a maldonado fan but, I have a feeling you guys are going to eat these comments about Lotus picking Maldonado!! Hulkenberg will fail at FI this season!
      Yup I said it!!!

      1. I wonder if PM’s first duty at Lotus is to cut a cheque to Kimi before he sues the team for far more than he is owed.

  3. I just hope we see Maldonado’s good side and see Grosjean grow further. And lets just hope that the PDVSA money pays for a car that can fight for as many podiums and wins as this year.

    1. Currently they don’t even have the money to pay for Pirelli tire test.

      1. who cares about testing when the salaries for all team members have been delayed so far. Happy christmas guys, eh.

        1. It’s easy to forget that the guys at Enstone have to put food on their tables too. And while their driver pairing might be more circumstantial than popular, I wish them all the best. They have spiced things up in the race department for the last two seasons, and as we all know, that is not the result of one SuperKimi but the combined talents of rooms full of people.

          It’s a shame that the team has been the victim of its owners and FOM’s policies, but hopefully PDVSA’s money will alleviate some of those grievances for those working hard to entertain us.

    2. oh my, I really wanna see Grosjean trashing Maldonado next year already.

      1. You know that statement is ambiguous to use for Grosjean right?

    3. Pastor gatecrashed hulks party twice, first he got the williams drive and now when it looks hulk is all set for the Lotus, Pastor again got the better of him

    4. There is no good side, he is a puppet placed by PDVSA.
      Where would he be without PDVSA, not in F1 for sure

    5. Not sure how much more time F1 driver need to grow further, if he performs as he did last two seasons he should be cut half during the season together with Boulier, who was unable to ride the success of past two years and end up in this mess.

      Seriously if I was a sponsor, in what mind would I sponsor a team who got Grosjean as their driver after 2012 season.

    6. We have two crash masters in the same team.

  4. I really wanted Nico to get that seat :(

    1. This is all RedBull’s fault, if they picked up superkimi rather than dandielricardo than probably the drivers market will be a lot healthier. Hulk to Ferrari, Massa to Lotus, Maldonado to the sea, and Alonso to the ladies championship.

  5. well that’s not a surprise. i was hoping it wouldn’t happen but i guess it was inevitable.
    my support for the team is still here, though i will stop supporting them if they make him nr. 1 driver and not grosjean.

  6. Lotus’s driver line up is now the biggest charisma vacuum on the grid.

    1. No Paul Di Resta is enough to soak out every drop of charisma from his teammate

    2. Grosjean is charismatic.

      1. I like Grosjean

  7. With this I really hope we can see Maldonado at his best because he can be as good as anyone else on his day.

    1. If Boullier and the team can mirror the job they did to get Grosjean consistenly fast with Maldonado, we could be in for a VERY good lineup. Lets hope he does live up to the car next year

    2. @slr I like your optimism, but part of the learning curve for Grosjean was to accept his mistakes . That hasn’t happened with the highness, Mr. PDVSA so far .

      1. +1 Grosjean has certain character traits which allow him to overcome his weaknesses. Pastor has ego instead.

        1. I’ve heard paddock gossip rate Pastor in the ‘likeable driver’ team. Maybe fatherhood will chill him for the cameras?

        2. @cyclops_pl Grosjean has certain character traits which allow him to overcome his weaknesses. Pastor has ego instead.

          how do you know this? do you know Maldonado personally? If not, how can you claim to know his personality such that you can insult him like this?

    3. @slr I have faith in Maldonado’s abilities also, but not a hope in hell is he as good as Hülkenberg. Not even close.

      1. @vettel1 Slightly disagree there, Maldonado’s strongest quality as a driver is his speed over one lap. He’s proven he can translate that into the race, whilst holding off the advances of a world champion (like Hulk demonstrated multiple times this year).

        He wasn’t my ideal choice for the seat, like the majority, I preferred Hulk, but for Lotus, Maldonado is a decent all-round choice: financial support and somewhat displayed potential. How he’s embraced the new scenery, factory, personnel, will reflect on his performance, which has to be consistent first and foremost.

        For Hulk, who knows, major changes to aero, engines and packaging of the car overall. Surprises can well and truly arise, and Sauber (should he stay there) and Force India (if he returns) could be dark horses in the early part of the season at least, and Lotus could drop into the midfield.

      2. @vettel1 I have faith in Maldonado’s abilities also, but not a hope in hell is he as good as Hülkenberg. Not even close.

        Funny then that Maldonado is a GP-winner and Hulkenberg has never won an F1 race…

        1. @joepa funny how he then failed t score for 7? rounds, despite having a race-winning car. Not to mention finishing 18 points behind Hülkenberg, who didn’t have a race winning car in the dry.

    4. It is a shame that real good drivers don’t get a chance, Maldonado is in F1 only and only because of the money he brings.

      1. @rctcx – nothing to do with the GP2 championship he won the season before he got the seat though.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        30th November 2013, 7:41

        Here Here! Useless driver, what’s he ever won? …… oh hang on.

    5. The problem is not his best, the problem is his worst and the frequency of it showing. :)

  8. Yuck. What a shame.

    Lotus have become 65% less likeable after this move.

    1. My thoughts exactly. While you can’t blame a team for protecting their future financially, there is something seriously wrong with F1 if Maldonado is getting picked ahead of Hulkenberg.
      I’ve been a big fan of Lotus over the last couple of years, mainly due to their sense of humour and excellent use of social media. That liking has taken a serious hit with this news!!

      1. For a team with such a social media oriented marketing programme, they’ve really nerfed this one. Brace yourselves, the Grosjean/Maldonado crashing memes are coming…..

          1. Fair play to them, if you can’t laugh at yourself and all that

          2. “…so Monsieur Crashey, we meet again.”

      2. It’s a matter of survival and not preferences. I don’t like the choice they’ve made but I can understand the reasons why.

      3. @bleeps_and_tweaks While you can’t blame a team for protecting their future financially, there is something seriously wrong with F1 if Maldonado is getting picked ahead of Hulkenberg.

        Ha. Maldonado is an F1 race winner – Hulkenberg is not and never will be.

    2. PVSDA makes lotus go around!

    3. The nutcases.

  9. NOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo

    1. Your post perfectly reflects my feelings upon reading the headline.

    2. Me too , just heard this news and I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo too!

  10. Can you imagine what we would have said about this partnership last year? Such a shame the financial situation of some teams

    1. “Lotus F1 Crash Test Team”?

  11. There’s no justice in this world. Money speaks.

    1. And you just learnt that now?

  12. I do like how the picture on this article makes him look like some venezuelan communist agitprop.

  13. I wish them the best. Maldonado was given one chance to win and he used it, i hope he can win more.

  14. This is farce.

  15. Amazing how the guy who essentially finished last in 2011 AND 2013 gets a seat like Lotus because of his oil money. :(

    1. You can make stats do whatever you want. Most drivers would have finished in the same position given the 2011 and 2013 Williams. Not sure many would have managed a race win though……

      1. @petebaldwin

        Most drivers would have finished in the same position given the 2011 and 2013 Williams.

        Aging Barrichello and rookie Bottas finished ahead of him. And any competent driver would have achieved more than 45 points in the 2012 Williams, looking at the sheer number of points Maldonado squandered.

        1. @david-a Bottas managed one decent finish which scored him more points overall. Over the whole season, Maldonado was much better than Bottas.

          Ageing Barrichello? Perhaps. Or you could say massively experienced Barichello beat Maldonado in his first season of F1.

          1. @petebaldwin – How was Maldonado “much better”? Bottas outqualified him 12-7, though Maldonado finished 9-5 ahead in the races (albeit with one of them involving a questionable last lap pass by Maldonado). Bottas was able to string together a better weekend in Austin than Maldonado did all season (while on that same weekend, Maldonado was utterly terrible, on and off track). Maldonado wasn’t “much better” (emphasis on your choice of the word “much”) by any means. And that’s over a rookie. A promising rookie, but a rookie nonetheless.

            And yes, I’d describe Barrichello in 2011 as “ageing”, like the F1 world appears to do for Mark Webber, and his ability.

          2. @david-a Maldonado was much better because (to quote your previous post) “Maldonado finished 9-5 ahead in the races.” If you use the rookie argument (which I agree with), surely it applies to Maldonado’s rookie season as well?

          3. @petebaldwin – Bottas outscored and outqualified Maldonado, acheiving the highest qualifying and race positions of the pair. You can still argue if you want, that Maldonado was better or marginally better (and I disagree), but no way in hell was he much better, given that he lost in at least 2 key areas.

        2. @david-a
          Maldonado was given one chance at a race victory in 2012, and he won. Unlike Perez in Malaysia or Hulkenberg in Brazil, he didn’t choke under pressure when it mattered.

          Also, Maldonado would have outscored Barrichello handily in 2011 if Hamilton hadn’t punted him off in Monaco.

          1. @kingshark

            Maldonado was given one chance at a race victory in 2012, and he won.

            He was given many other chances at strong points scores- and he squandered them.

      2. @petebaldwin Hulkenberg would likely have won in the 2012 Williams. If Ham/Ros, Vet/Web, Alo/Rai had been in those cars the Williams team would have scored an enormous amount of points. The teams was very let down by their drivers. Pastor showed just how fast that car was on several occassions (Spain, Valencia qually, Singapore, Abu Dhabi) but failed to deliver at any other event. Senna was just plain slow. The fact that both drivers there were so poor meant it hid how good that car was. The few times we did see how fast it was was purely because a driver showed an irregular flash of brilliance.

        1. @nick-uk Hulk would have won that race no doubt. Also agree the drivers you listed (well… other than Webber) that they would have scored more than Maldonado.
          It’s one of the things though with F1 that you never really know how good the drivers are until you see them in the same team. We’ll find out a lot more about Maldonado this year now that he’s with Grosjean because we know how fast Grosjean is in relation to Raikkonen.

          It does seem odd that this painfully slow driver won the GP2 championship 2 years prior – the only championship that team has ever won in GP2 and against drivers like Sergio Perez and Jules Bianchi.

        2. @nick-uk
          Hulkenberg had a golden opportunity to win in Brazil but bottled it under pressure. Maldonado was under much more pressure in Spain but kept his head cool. Therefore, your claim that Hulk easily would have won a race in the Williams is baseless.

          1. have you followed f1 for more than 6 months? Remember that race in Brazil? wet and rainy. Drivers were all over the place.

            NH is not the best in the sport but he’s shown huge promise. And PM is always the driver who get rewarded instead of Hulk. I’m tired of comments on here telling those of us who are reacted with emotion to think logically about this. I’m upset and should be. This would happen in no other top sport on the planet. F1 is in shambles.

          2. I’m equally tired of comments stating that Maldonado is one of the slowest and most underserving drivers of a seat in F1 simply because people are “emotional.”

            And it seems even stranger that people are being “emotional” and “upset” and yet they are having a go at Maldonado for doing the same thing!

  16. If Lotus’s finances are so weak,I wonder where Romain would have been if Kimi had stayed with Lotus/Ferrari took Hulk….

    1. They would ditch Romain and take Pastor to pay Kimi ;-)

      1. That is pretty certain.

  17. Next year could be expensive for Lotus……

    1. @jobymcanuff COTD !! Love the irony in the comment . today is a black day for f1 .

    2. So the deal itself – some 30-40 million € to get the seat plus some 15+ million for Kimi`s salary plus some XX million for extra chassis, wings etc. – sounds about right?

  18. Sigh. My heart, it struck sorrow.

    1. I first thought of Buemi’s reaction at 0:05 to spinning off the track:

      1. @somethingwittyer Steve Carell reveals the grief of the situation.

  19. Brace yourself.

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