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”

  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…

        Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

    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 http://www.f1zone.net/news/maldonado-to-lotus-highlights-flaws-in-f1s-model/21366/

        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.
          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/11/13/perez-confirms-mclaren-exit-at-the-end-of-the-year/#comment-1416902

          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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb4vnMMBGuE

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

  19. Brace yourself.

  20. When he’s on form he’s quick. When not then he’s a ****. At least he’s entertaining.

    Frankly, I don’t think it really matters. RoGro will get Enstone fighting for fourth with the loser of the McLaren/Ferrari/RedBull/Mercedes battle so would Hulk make much of a difference? Unlikely.

    It’s a bit disappointing but I completely understand why they would rather finish 2014 in 5th with $30m in their pockets than *maybe* have a better shot at 4th.

    Of course with the recent lack of engineers at Enstone, they could finish a whole lot further behind anyway, making the Maldonado choice even smarter.

  21. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

    Surprises indeed…

  22. An announcement that only confirms the state of F1 right now. Good luck to Nico Hulkenburg and Paul Di Resta wherever they end up.

  23. This was inevitable but still I’m so irritated to see it confirmed. Money trumps talent once again, well done F1.

    Also I have the distinct impression that the whole team knows that Maldonado is in that seat purely because of his money, except for Maldonado himself.

  24. So, does this confirm that the Quantum thing is just a big scam?

    On the other hand, this driver pairing can only surprise in a positive way, as everyone expects them to crash at every race (and probably with each other!).

    1. @kaiie Yep. Lotus used Quantum to have a leverage with PDVSA . For any business negotiation you need some leverage I suppose .

      1. So if the Quantum scenario is never going to happen. Which must look increasingly likely now. Does this mean that PDVSA are going to cough up with Kimi’s 2013 wages?

  25. Like a train wreck in slow motion this news has been festering for so long as the Lotus/Quantum deal lies mouldering into the past as a bad footnote of things not meant to be. And now this is the steaming pile of phony put a good face on it PR that Lotus is so happy to have Maldonado that we are left with.

    Well, sad that Lotus was pretty much forced into this deal with the devil, so to speak, just to survive. I do wish them well and feel that the grid is better off with a financially stable Lotus competing for points. Just not this way with this driver. I cannot cheer for this team any more.

  26. And now it’s time to say our farewells to Lotus as a front-runner. Grojean will continue to improve, but Maldonaldo will destroy that team. Good-bye Constructors.

    1. I was just thinking that. they’ve had two years at the top with a superstar in Kimi, that’s over now. Grosjean is rapidly improving but next year he can only do so much. I’m placing bets for 5th in 2014…

  27. ….ugh.

  28. I think this was expected after the whole Quantum thing didn’t work out.
    I have now two questions:
    Would Maldonado have a seat next season without his PDVSA sponsorship?
    Has he matured enough since 2012 to bring a potentially race-winning car consitently in the points?

    He let me down a couple of times last year. He is definitely fast, but he messes up his races way too often.
    It seems, with his attitude, he also doesn’t make many friends outside the track, so I hope he can make the talking in the car next year and prove most people wrong. I kind of doubt it, though.

    1. I dont think Maldonado would have a seat without his PDVSA money. I feel for Lotus, I dont think they had a choice they had to take his money to survive. Shows how dire the situation is in F1 when a top team had to do this to survive. Talent lost out to money, dont blame Lotus blame the system where now lotus have to take Maldonado.

      The quantum motorsports/Mansoor Ijaz was just BS? Talked alot but never did the deal. Said on Sky it was almost done. Doubt it

  29. Feel sad for Hulk, twice now has he “lost” a seat to Maldonado’s cash. (Ok, he didn’t really lost this one as it wasn’t his, but for sure if he had the same backing than Maldonado, Hulk would have been selected for the seat). Would be fun to see Maldonado’s reaction if a reporter asks him what does it feels like to land a top seat by having more money than better drivers.

    1. Three times if you count GP2 Asia, where he looked a good bet for the championship.

  30. From the increased number of Lotus shirts I’ve seen at races this year the “Kimi Factor” really had a positive effect.

    What now for Lotus? This would appear to strongly confirm their money issues and is probably the most negative signing any team could make unless Kim Jong-un decided to enter the sport!

  31. Here’s what you get if you read between the lines:

    “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.

    This one’s probably as read.

    “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.”

    = ‘He didn’t start too well but pulled his socks up in the second half. It had better be 2nd part of 2013 Grosjean who turns up next year or we’re stuffed.’

    “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.

    …’where he spent half his time throwing his car at walls and passing traffic and was banned for much of the season for crippling a marshal at Monaco.’

    “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.”

    ‘correct environment’ being Grosjean’s psychiatrist, presumably.

    “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.”

    ‘Apologies in advance to our fellow competitors, marshals and Bernd Maylander.’

  32. So next step is Hülkenberg to confirm at Force India? Then Sutil at Sauber?

    1. With Perez at Force India and Gutierrez at Sauber as well?

  33. Would Lotus “sabotage” his car?

    1. They’re probably fitting it out with bumpers. Carbon fibre costs.

      1. @sharoncom

        They’d better fit it with a loud siren and big flashing lights as well. That way other drivers can save their skin before being Pastorpedoed.

  34. I’m not impressed with their choice but I understand why they did it. Grosjean had one hell of a reputation til recently now he’s improved a lot this year. Maybe we should give Maldonado a chance. But I’m sure Mark Webber is relieved he quit when he did!

  35. My least favorite driver with my favorite team. (sigh). We knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make it any less painful. I was kind of hoping Perez was going to come over (money and talent), but I guess by the time he was released the deal with Maldonado was pretty much finalized. I’ll still cheer for Enstone and Grosjean (what can I say, I’m an American and can’t help but root for the underdog), but it really speaks volumes when a front running team has to end up hiring a driver for their money rather then their talent. Here’s hoping at the very least Enstone doesn’t end up moving back to the mid-field next year.

  36. There is a chance that Maldonado improves radically just like Grosjean, so we may be looking at a very good driver line up for next year provided the car is fast and suits the drivers

    1. Or it’s like giving my 7 year old the keys to my car!

      Time will tell…

  37. Like most of you I’d rather have seen Nico get the drive. But I will look forward to see if Pastor stays a zero or becomes a hero now that he potentially has a podium/winning car.

    However, this quote:

    “We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years…”

    is of great interest. If they really have been working on 2014 car for that long, they could be in a good position. But like everything in F1, time will tell. Just another reason to await what 2014 holds in store for my entertainment/interest!

  38. say what ?!?!

  39. Now the 2014 drivers market will finally unlock.

  40. So hulkenberg and Perez to FI and Sutil (why?) to Sauber. Bye bye Paul di besta.

    1. @full-throttle-f1 I think Sutil was always going to be kicked after there arose possibilities of Hulkenberg to sign . But now , with Perez’s backing they can ditch Sutil and bring Perez which would be quite a strong lineup for a midfield team .Sutil has only one other team to turn to . I seriously now want FI to beat Lotus in the long term . Feeling gutted for the hulk.

    2. Interesting that there aren`t any rumors about Perez moving back to Sauber. Or are there?
      Guti staying = 2 Mexicans + continued sponsorship from Telmex.

      But let`s wait and see.

      1. I suspect Telmex have a set amount of sponsorship cash per team. They’re not going to want to double up for one team; what if they’re at the back not getting enough TV coverage? If Perez is going to Sauber it would be in place of Guti; if Perez is going to FI they can hedge their bets.

  41. no, No, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Seriously though. What are they thinking? If this was 2012 we’d be joking about Eric Boullier’s carbonfibre bill by now.

  42. big shame for hulkenberg, i just hope he doesnt go back to force india, hulkenberg switches seats every year, he needs to stay at sauber and gain some experience of growing and building in a team, swapping seats every year cant be helpful

    1. *cant be healthy

      1. It seems Sauber might not be able to afford to keep him: story of his life.

  43. Lost a lot of respect for Maldanado, Lotus and F1 in general. Now with this mandatory 2 stops thing, it gets worse. Lost alot of respect for f1 today

  44. “With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

    I would’ve made a joke on this and laugh if it wasn’t so terribly depressing.
    You know, the saddest part in all this is that I’m betting none of you guys are actually surprised by this news. If people have come to expect that money will eventually win over talent, you know that something is seriously wrong with F1.

  45. goddamn pay drivers! that’s must be embarrassing for Maldonado, he is being hired on the money he brings. not on talent.

  46. We could have guessed this would be the outcome of the ‘negotiations’ with Quantum. And the way in which the Quantum negotiations log-jammed the driver market was rather unfortunate. It is interesting to think what might have happened, had Quantum not been involved at all. Aye, the long-running negotiations over the Quantum deal had all sorts of ramifications and not just for Lotus. Ah well, no sense trying to work out who might have gone where, had things played out differently…

    Lotus impressed me this season, as did Grosjean. I supported both for that reason. Even though many people were writing Grosjean off last year, I felt the criticism masked the fact that he guy has serious potential. Whether Maldonado will likewise turn around and surprise us is a moot point. I’m very disappointed he got the seat, yet I’m charitable enough to give Maldonado a chance to show whether he has what it takes.

    Although we shouldn’t read too much into words, the structure of the Lotus press release suggests Romain won’t be regarded as a number two driver.

  47. I just vomited in my mouth…malfunctionado

    1. That’s funny because it is true. Which I hope it is not. :-)

  48. think most of you a being a bit harsh on pastor and I know he has behaved like a dork recently, rem he has won a gp which is 1 more than a lot of drivers have and are likely to do in the near future

    1. One interesting thing with Maldonado`s win is that – yes, it really did happen, but nobody sort of cares about it. He is still seen as a sort of arrogant driver with a lot of money.

      1. well I did, and I know quite a lot of others who did too

  49. There you go: millions of dollars from a state owned oil company from a country with extreme social issues to pay for a Latin American brat to massage his ego amongst the elite of motor racing, while being disdained by most knowledgeable F1 fans. It is a terrible demonstration of the sad state F1 is, these days. I wish someone would reboot F1. Eclestone and his corrupt schemes have done the “sport” a great disservice. Maldonado is just an example of how dysfunctional this circus has become.

  50. Oh no…

    At least the vote for next season on the question of:
    ‘Who will be the first driver to be replaced?’
    Will be easily answered

    1. I don’t get it? What’s Vergne to do with all of this?

  51. Maybe whoever worked with Romain can attempt to do the same for Pastor. He’s a race winner, he has talent, but can be headstrong and careless (to put it politely).

    While I was hoping for Nico to get the seat, seeing Pastor get selected isn’t a surprise, given Lotus’ financial situation. That said, most of us had written of Romain pretty early in his career, and has taken advantage of the opportunities provided to him to be a much more complete racer. I’m optimistic in that Pastor can achieve the same, given time.

    It’ll likely end with Nico getting a Force India seat or staying at Sauber; either way, I hope whatever team Nico ends up on is capable of providing a competitive car to showcase his talents.

    1. With Grosjean there never did look to be any malice behind his collisions. It was poor spatial awareness, passivity and clumsiness. With Maldonado it has the look of red mist. A shrink can’t fix that until he’s willing to fix it himself.

  52. I think Lotus just made a massive mistake.
    Perez has money, and he doesn’t bounce into everyone and blames them for it. Neither do I expect him to falsely accuse his team of sabotage.
    And he actually has a bit of talent.
    But that wouldn’t be ideal either. No. The solution to all their problems is to get a title sponsor with money to actually pay them. McDonnald’s, Apple, Samsung. Whatever. Someone who can pay the bills.
    Relying on Maldonardo’s money and sub-par talent will only be a short term plaster on the wound. It will cost them points in the constructors, that will cost them money, make it harder to attain sponsors, and in a couple of years Maldonardo’s money will have run out and where will they do then? Hire another? Or do they still hope that Quantom’s Monopoly money shows up? Hah.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      30th November 2013, 8:11

      “Perez has money, and he doesn’t bounce into everyone and blames them for it.” – LOL!

  53. In other news: “Experts believe that in 2014 demand of carbon fibre to increase hugely”

  54. @sbl-on-tour I agree that people are being too harsh. He’s shown that he is fast. But championships are won with points, not with wins, and although he won a race last year, he ended up in the championship behind Hülkenberg, Pérez, Di Resta and Kobayashi, all them with no wins. His reckless driving has overshadowed his speed and that’s why many people think Maldonado doesn’t deserve a top seat.

    1. if you take out that win…he didnt did any thing special.I guess he has more DNF then any other driver on the grid

      1. but . he did win… and as for the others they will leave f1 with zero wins between them

  55. Here’s my prediction:

    1 win, 6 podiums, 1 pole position, 12 Q3 appearances, 4 DNFs, 10-9 or 9-10 vs Grosjean in qualifying, 9th in WDC, several thousand internet commenters backpedaling on their remarks by the end of June.

    1. That’s better than Romain did this year. Although both have been inconsistent, I’d rate Grosjean over Pastor.

    2. @rjoconnell – I’ve already got a screenshot of the comments in case it gets deleted. You can guarantee they’ll try and claim they always knew he would be a success despite what others though. :D

    3. Quite optimistic considering Lotus has already lost arguably their most key technical guy, James Allison. Many credit Allison as one of the main reasons for the success of Lotus over the last two seasons, even with a smaller budget. The new regs may shuffle the grid deck dramatically and there is no promise that the Lotus car will be as competitive.

      That doesn’t even take into consideration that Maldonado’s maturity level seems to be regressing lately. What will his response be next season when things don’t go his way? That happens to every driver and coping with adversity is an important personality trait in a highly competitive business such as F1. That’s what would worry me were I working with Maldonado or if I was a fan of him.

  56. Maldonado at Lotus Its a SHAME for F1. The FIA it’s a joke. The payout of the teams its at minimum. And for (Hulk) a top 5 driver not to have a seat in top team it makes me think “Why would I pay subscription to watch F1”???

  57. Oh no! This is so awful! This is like if Pedro Diniz once drove for Sauber!… Oh wait… ;)

  58. Pretty obvious why he’s been hired and while I would’ve loved Hulk to get the seat I’d rather Maldonado get it and have Lotus stay in F1.

    However I think some of the comments here are massive over reactions and I would personally love Pastor to do well just to see the reaction of the bandwagon haters. Honestly Maldonado isn’t that bad of a choice, and while there are plenty of pay drivers (one of whom happens to be the other Lotus driver) who perhaps could do better, Maldonado brings a lot of talent in his own right. This season he’s only caused 1 crash (less than Massa) and while he can be an idiot on and off the track at times there are promising signs. You only need to look at his qualifying performances at Barcelona and Singapore and his victory to see that there is something there. It takes some drivers years to reach their maximum potential and I truly believe that if Lotus could turn Grosjean from first corner calamity to they only guy who could challenge the Red Bulls then I don’t see why they can’t do the same for Maldonado.

    At the end of the day maybe what I’ve said is rubbish and Maldonado will turn out to be an epic flop but there’s also a chance I’m right and he could do well. I suppose we’ll find out this time next year.

    1. @davef1 – Redemption is a wonderful concept that sometimes proves out in reality. Maldonado has that chance and I will be the first to admit I was wrong if that happens. My main problem with Maldonado is the way he treats other people with his selfish arrogant attitude. Accusing his soon to be former team of sabotage after the whole team has had such a gut wrenching season trying to make the car faster and not even realizing it could make him look bad, that says a lot. When things go right, it’s down to him. When things go wrong it’s somebody else’s fault. I’m not a hater, I feel sorry for the guy. He’s his own worst enemy and doesn’t even realize it. It would be great to see him mature as a driver and as a person and be able to show his talent more than just intermittently. Maybe this is the chance he needs.

  59. Maldonado is quick but his racecraft leaves a lot to be desired.
    Lotus should have a contract option where if Maldonado causes a collision and has to retire his car thet don’t have to pay him for that day/session/race weekend.

  60. If someone told me in 2012 this would be lineup of a race winning team I would’ve cringed.

    I can’t wait to hear what happens when they ask him to move over for team leader Grosjean.

  61. ok I’m in a different seat than most others it seems… It has been inpressive watching Lotus do what they’ve did with smaller budget than the behemoths, and as a Kimi fan I have supported them as well.
    BUT I genuinly dislike the team… They must have brilliant engineers who obviously are willing to work harder or more than other teams’ and then I get to watch the team practically throw away all exciting outcomes on sloooow and sluggish tactics during races. And I still remember all the shady things which were done during the renault logo, I still smell the stench of briatore and other questionables…

    I think it will be good for the Hulk. going to FI instead… it’s not a new experience for him driving there and he’s probably going to kick his team mates’ behind whoever it is.
    I’m going to be even more foolish and say that I think he’s going to red bull after Vettel sweeps the floor with RIC for a year…

    rant over…

    1. @dr-jekyll – Valid point that Hulkenberg may be better off at FI. Without the cash from Quantum or Maldonado Lotus would be a wasteland. Even with the cash in hand now, they may have less performance next season with James Allison now at Ferrari. As a Kimi fan I have been pleasantly surprised with the good things that have happened with him and Lotus over the last two seasons. At this point I’m glad that Kimi is with Ferrari and Hulkenberg should be at FI.

      1. @bullmello glad to see someone agrees somewhat with my badly spelled contribution :)
        Yes if he’s not going to one of the top teams, then this is as good as any other outcome for the Hulk, and I couldn’t care less about what happens to Lotus with their two crash test dummies now…

  62. There is something drastically wrong when a ‘top team’ are resorting to a mediocre pay driver just to stay alive. It’s just as well Lotus have one decent driver.

    Formula One needs drastic change, and soon. We have Maldonado, a driver outdriven by a rookie, and then had the cheek to blame the team, going into a car which has won races and championships over the last 10 years, and Nico Hulkenberg, who lots of people rated 2nd best this season, in the midfield, yet again.

  63. Pay drivers.What a joke.At least he can help pay for the cars he wrecks.Lotus obviously can’t afford to.I can’t wait to see Grosjean embarrass Maldonado.

  64. Good move by Maldonado. Sadly Williams have been a shambles for the past, well 7 or 8 years. And they show no sign of improving at all. They lack leadership. Frank can’t do the job anymore and his daughter Claire … well the less said about her the better. Maybe if Ross goes there then there might be light at the end of the tunnel otherwise it really is a slippery slope for Williams. Pastor isn’t a fan favourite but he is quick and the PDVSA money hopefully will allow Lotus to build a competitive car again in 2014. It has to be said what an amazing job Lotus has done this year. No money but still fighting with the big boys, they showed that you don’t need to spend £250 million to be competitive and put up a fight. I have my fingers crossed for Lotus next year.

  65. happy for Force India …. Hulk n cheko … Dreamyyy

    1. n they hopefully might give a thrrrrashing to Lotus ….. #sorry_lotus_lovers

  66. Mal has some skill allright but Gutierrez and Bottas score more points and bit him this year. I also doubt the venezuelan people money is been spend wise in this promotion, that seems to go the wrong way.
    Anyway Buolier is doing his management job well assuring Number 1 driver to Grosjean, Mal can crash all he wants as he brings constructor championship prize even if lotus comes last.

    I also wonder if Lotus has invest to much or all of what was left pursuing number two this year, procastinating on 2014 car design, actually I think Maldonado will experience again being the last of the seasoned drivers and some rookies too in a poor car…

    1. Quick question: Is English your mother tongue?

  67. After all the talk about talent over money and wanting the best driver on the grid, they go on to sign that guy. Unbelievable, I started this year hoping they did okay, but as stuff has been thrown into the fan, Lotus has become the only team I actually hope do badly. I’ll be laughing when Maldonado starts crashing the car.

  68. I don’t know what to make of this. Maldonado is a race winner and has calmed his attitude on track, cutting out his accidents. But after this season, I’m not really sure about his speed. It will be interesting to see him in 2014, but I’d have preferred Hulkenberg because he’s no unknown quantity.

  69. It’s obvious that Hulkenberg deserved that seat more. It’s also obvious that the financial state of most F1 teams is just sad and I believe that the rich teams, FIA and FOM should feel ashamed for that.

    But I also believe Maldonado has more potential than most believe. In 2011, his rookie season, he fared well against Barrichello, probably even better than Hulkenberg did in 2010. In 2012, he was very quick but far too erratic.

    It has been said that the Venezuelan sometimes tried to wring out more of the uncompetitive 2013 Williams than was possible, which might be one of the reasons why Bottas was slightly better than him over the course of the season. Still, Maldonado seemed to have become less crash-prone and performed very well in some races, such as the Hungarian GP where he scored a point or the Singaporean GP where he climbed up from 18th on the grid to 11th.

    Grosjean has shown that an erratic driver can turn into a regular front-runner. Some drivers probably need more time to get there than others do. But now Maldonado has spent more time in F1 than Grosjean and it’s time to prove that he is more than a pay river even if money is the reason why Lotus has signed him. The time of excuses is over.

  70. Lotus haven’t made a mistake here at all. They have got to pay their staff and put two cars on the grid next season. It may not be the desired choice for fans, but I think Hulkenberg is better off waiting for a bigger seat anyway. Lotus are the most vulnerable of the top 5 teams. Thankfully PDVSA have stepped in because Lotus may not have survived for next season otherwise, and although Maldonado’s race craft is a bit iffy, he has got the pace to do well if he can keep his nose clean. I’m actually looking forward to seeing how he does. Everything obviously wasn’t as it seemed regarding Mr Ijaz and Quantum though.

    1. –Everything obviously wasn’t as it seemed regarding Mr Ijaz and Quantum though.–

      Had it not been for the ‘stalled’ Quantum deal, Lotus might have ended up skint. In a strange way, the failure – so far – of the Quantum money to materialise has benefitted Lotus, albeit in a roundabout way: Lotus has now secured Maldonado’s sponsorship money. Other drivers/teams benefitted too. Perez was dropped (with stunning abruptness) but he may get a seat that Maldonado might, otherwise, have taken. So Perez was very lucky to get a seat so late in the negotiations. Even though Williams lost Maldonado, they seem to have managed to keep hold of some of the Venezuelan money. Williams were very lucky too. That is a win-win-win situation.

      When the background of Mansoor Ijaz was revealed on the internet, some people were spluttering, “does Lotus know about this!?”. Anyone who thinks Lotus were not fully aware of who they were dealing with is being a tad naive. So the question that arises is why did Lotus place their trust in the man? Perhaps Lotus genuinely believed Ijaz is the real deal, despite his background raising some questions.

      But, what would have happened to Lotus, had the team not secured either the Quantum money, or the Maldonado money? Lotus could have been up the creek, sans paddle. How else would the team have secured funding for 2014? And the mixing of PDVSA and Total money is an unusual arrangement.

      There are huge amounts of money involved in F1: the last thing F1 needs is a team like Lotus to collapse. So the way the driver market played out has been quite fortuitous; in financial terms anyway.

  71. Maldonado? What have you done Mr. Boullier? You cannot make a donkey your dad just because you need money. I just hope that this does’nt turn around and bite Lotus in the ass. I wonder how many chassis’s willl Maldonado have gone through by the end of 2014? Though he is one of the few race winners on the grid next year even then i don’t like this one bit. I just wish Hulk had signed for Lotus.

  72. IF you can get him to focus and work in his finess, then maybe it will work, otherwise they’ll spedn the PDVSA money in front wings.

  73. This truly is Black Friday.

  74. Ahaaaaa, I see what they have in mind when they say they can cause quite a few “surprises” next season. When Grosjean is battling for a strong position, they can expect Maldonado to “accidentally” park in the race leader’s side pod as he’s being lapped. Or bring out the yellow flags because he crashed into someone while trying to access the pitlane.
    It’s like crashgate without the need for intentionally crashing! Brilliant!

  75. I’ll reserve my judgement of this decision until I see how Maldonado fares out with Team Enstone. Although, I will say that I’d have preferred The Hulk. But time will tell if this was the correct decision.

  76. in the end, Maldonado’s money will pretty much cover all the carnage he creates. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if all the money pdvsa gave the team covered his damages. Does anyone have a list of all the crashes and damage he created on his car over the past 3 years? including that wonderful demonstration in his home country lol

    he also has a lot to be proud of (passing his team mate for 16th at suzuka) wayda go maldonado!

    I look at him like a xbox forza driver in real life, thinks he’s invincible

  77. I think it is pretty clear that if Lotus didn’t have money worries they wouldn’t have chosen Maldonado but at least with him signing and more importantly the backing he brings the teams future should be more secure.

    Maldonado has won a Grand Prix and most drivers in F1 don’t have that on their CV, but apart from that one weekend his results in F1 have not been very impressive.

    Some may argue he hasn’t had the machinery to show his talent but with his win last year he showed that the FW34 wasn’t a bad car and in fact it highlights how poor and inconsistent he was for the rest of 2012.

    If he was as good as he thinks he is he would have performed a lot better against his teammates for the last two years.

    If Grosjean can carry his form and new found maturity into 2014 he should have the beating of Maldonado.

  78. I knew it was coming, but hoping it wasn’t. Very disappointed in lotus and the state of F1 in general.

    1. many agree with you my friend!

  79. Michael Brown (@)
    29th November 2013, 20:02

    F1 really needs to sort its **** out so we don’t have things like this happen.

  80. ‘Everything is wrong’ – PM

  81. Disappointing, but expected.

    Now we can only prey he will get off his high horse and improves his anger management…

    If not I hope Grosjean will dominate him. Extremely.

  82. that one gp win counts for little considering all the other points he squandered. This will be his fourth full season in F1 and he hasn’t shown any improvement.

  83. Barbara Haddock
    29th November 2013, 20:47

    Money can buy you anything regardless of talent, knowledge or experience!

  84. People shouldn’t have a go at Lotus, Quantum are a load of scoundrels and their money was never going to come. Maldonado is rude, ungrateful, unpleasant, arrogant, moronic and feels entitled BUT he has more sponsorship than any other driver. Lotus had to help their finances that have been affected by their overspending, to keep up with the big boys. Last year I was calling for Grosjean’s head but he’s really impressed me with how he’s grown up, Maldonado looks like he never will, and I really hope Grosjean destroys him. Oh and that Hulkenberg will one day get a Ferrari seat!

  85. Nooo I did not want to see this. Hulk deserved this. Maybe Maldo is paying Lotus for the same class they put RoGro through in not crashing. My worry is they just “matured” RoGro so why take on another crash masterpiece. My loyalty may now make the same move Kimi made….

  86. Maldonado is clearly talented but he is also very spoilt which is shown by the way he treats other drivers & his team – like dirt.

    Hope he gets his act together. The sad thing is, he doesn’t have to thanks to his money so he’ll never learn and will blame everyone else when he makes a mistake.

  87. Looking on the positive side, a massive opportunity for Grosjean to finally outscore and outqualify his teammate and Lotus is safe, kinda.

    Meanwhile, I’m getting ready for a lot of incidents involving car number 8..

    1. Let’s hope Grosjean’s lucky number 7 will help him, then!

  88. Oh dear. Hulk was the man for that seat but Pa$tor finds his way in. I like Grosjean but Maldonado’s history of using of his car as a weapon makes me think he’s a complete tool and I don’t think I’ll be supporting Lotus next season.

  89. I don’t think anyone actually wanted Pastor in that seat over Hulk, but in honesty if it was me I’d have done the same. Hulkenberg brings no cash, while Maldonado is legit made from it, and has proven he can win in a good car. It’s not going to make the difference between 1st and 2nd in the WCC, but both could win races. So go for the one with money.
    Let’s just hope Grosjean destroys him, at least he’s nice guy.

  90. I dont want to live on this planet anymore

  91. Mark in Florida
    29th November 2013, 23:51

    Hey it’s a bonus to hire Maldonado,just think about it he brings his own paycheck. I am sure that Romain will look like a superstar compared to him,so he will be a clear #1. So therefore Lotus will have satisfied all of their priorities at this time. They will have money,a self paid driver and a clear #1 to lead the team and Maldonado does have flashes of brilliance at times. Lotus situation is the new reality for the smaller team’s. Sometimes it’s not who deserves the drive but who has to get it. Sad but true, sorry Hulkster.

    1. exactly how much money will maldo/pdvsa bring into lotus/quantum and more importantly, how long will it prolong lotus’s future in F1? by all reports, maldonado’s money will be swallowed up by the money they owe kimi and wont receive much change after they pay renault for their 2014 engines? I suppose that will see lotus through for anothe 1-2 years…

  92. Maldonado to Lotus wouldn’t be my first choice but I wish him well and hope he gets his act together; however, I really hope Hulkenberg gets the Force India seat and goes on to drive them to have a fantastic season, maybe even help FI beat Lotus. That would be great to watch! :-)

  93. I’m actually kind of happy about this, Maldonado is a good driver.
    I will be very interested in the results he could get in a decent car.

  94. yeah jimbob, now that Maldonado is in a fast car, he can crash into the front-runners and make things interesting

  95. It is so obvious that Lotus has not signed Maldonado by choice, rather they have accepted the fact that in order to get the PDVSA money that they desperately need … they are STUCK with him. What a waste of a good seat.

  96. Grosjean and Maldonado are team mates? Lotus have invested in an expensive Dodgem car business!

  97. Maldonado at Lotus is fantastic news.

    They deserve him.

  98. one word – meh

  99. i have 2 doubts on this

    1. Eric Boullier publicly said that his recommendation to replace kimi is hulk. So how does he look at it now? Can he manage with Pastor?

    2. RoGro’s sponsor Total and Pastor’s sponsor PDVSA are in same business. Doesnt this deal effect Lotus’ existing deal with Total?

    My opinion is – Lotus are crumbling and this deal says publicly that they accept they are crumbling. Even after finishing 4th in the championship they cannot afford to pay their driver(kimi) then definitely something is wrong with F1

  100. Sad day for the sport.

    1. This fellow was just beaten by a rookie, unleashed loads of crap on his former employer and admitted he’s hot-headed. Yet Lotus chose him over Hulkenberg. He says he has a race win, agreed thats impressive, but the corollary from 2013 season is that anyone, decent enough, in a Williams car would have won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix and would have scored way higher than the paltry 29 points he scored throughout the 2012 season.

      1. Correction: he scored 45 points in 2012 season.

      2. It’s not that impressive mate, considering that car was quite superior on that circuit and he did not had to battle anyone.

  101. OMG I hope this talentless “superstar” won’t go to Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes or McLaren in the future! That would be a disaster!!! I understand that there is a crisis (since forever!!!), but teams cannot go so low, come on!!! There are so many other drivers who are talented and deserve a seat in F1, this is absolutely sad!!!

  102. McLaren could’ve taken Hulk, they don’t need the PDVSA money.

    1. No they dont? And clearly they rate Magnussen higher than the hulk.

  103. This so bad for the sport. The only advantage I can see is that it may help Lotus survive until (financially) better times.

  104. Warning to other drivers. Brace for impact if you see any lotus car around you.
    There will always be uncertainty for the drivers who will directly line up in front of Lotus.
    Mid-season, we will be calling it as Team Crash instead of Team Lotus. :)

  105. Worst possible news that I have read for a long time. Maldonado is a thug who should not be welcome in any F1 team but it seems that his money talks. My respect for Team Lotus, very high at the start of the season has taken a nosedive following Raikkonen’s revelations and now…..this.

    I really feel sorry for The Hulk. No one will blame him if he now turns West for his career.

  106. wendinger and frentzen were maybe better than schumacher before approaching f1, but who won 7 f1 titles?
    f1 is a business, you get a lucky deal or an unlucky one. that’s all about it.
    talent is not the olny and main issue, but the more talented drivers are the ones who won almost everything before getting into f1 and who impressed in f1 with very little experience in minor formulas.

  107. It is quite appalling to think that an unknown group named Quantum held the Formula 1 drivers market hostage for weeks if not for months. Given that Quantum deal is now a hoax, I personally think that the Maldonado deal is the best thing that happened for Lotus and Hulkenberg. While Maldonado is looked upon as the villain here, people must remember the very fact that Lotus is a team struggling with teething financial problems. Let’s rewind a little bit to the summer break where the whole series of events started with Lotus.

    1) Kimi Raikonnen started looking out for a seat for 2014 starting initial talks with Red Bull.
    2) Infiniti Group which was later renamed as Quantum rose as the shining knight in the armor to save Lotus
    3) Allison moves to Ferrari from Lotus.
    4) Kimi accepts the offer from Ferrari. [ Probably the last place he wants to go given his history with Luca/Alonso in 2010, even though Luca says it is a great out there]

    At this point things were pretty clear that there is not much confidence with Quantum. Lotus was on a downhill slope with respect their financial situation. Things go from bad to worse when Kimi reveals his salary situation.

    Now that Quantun is a No deal, lets imagine Hulkenberg moves to Lotus for 2014. Lotus would neither have money to develop their car nor pay Hulkenberg’s salary. What good does this do for Nico ? Change another team at the end of 2014 ? Given the expensive 22 race schedule of 2014, who knows Lotus might even fold up as a team mid season without the PDVSA money. Hulkenberg did himself and Lotus a favor by not joining the team. I know many people here would not like to hear this but Maldonado is the savior for Lotus today. Lets just accept the truth here. Maldonado’s sponsorship money would bring in the much needed oxygen for the team. If Lotus develops a good car and Maldonado performs well then people would start saying that “see if Hulkenberg was there they would have been a world champion by now”. Unfortunately that is not true it is a 2 way street.

    Also a few points to ponder.
    1) It is not like Maldonado is a bad driver. He is one of the few race winners in the grid today.
    2) Who knows Hulkenberg might have rejected Lotus instead of the other way around.
    3) Why is Hulkenberg moving back to Force India instead of being in Sauber where he is respected? I believe that Sauber is a better team on any day given than Force India.

    1. Man , what don’t you understand???? The race Maldonado won, was not impressive at all, the Williams was superior on that track ! Show me other race, apart from that one where he impressed you! If I’d see him coming from 7, 6th or 5th to the top, I would have given him some credit! Other than Barcelona 2012, it’s just mediocre performances and crashes. Without his beloved Oil Company, he would be nowhere, if it were to judge by talent alone. But as it’s been said, MONEY TALKS!

      1. @Barney If superior car is an yardstick of racer quality then

        Ayrton Senna and Prost are very bad drivers because they had fast cars n 1988, 1989 et all
        Mansell , Hill, Hakkinen, Schumacher, and Button are all poor quality drivers because they all had great cars.

        Please dont tell me that the Williams was a great car so much so that all others were 20 seconds away. Maldanado was chased down by Alonso on his home track and he defended that well.

        If Starting from 22nd on the grid to win races is the yardstick of great racer then we have very few great drivers in the entire history of F1. [ Definitely Senna will not be one of them for sure !!!! ]

        Anad last but not the least lot of great drivers in the history will not be anywhere if they did not have good financial backing starting with Nikki Lauda, Ayrton Senna… all the way to lot of drivers today.

        Lets admit this. There is no point trying to be naive about this. This is a very expensive sport and money speaks a lot…. Burning all the Fuel, Rubber , engines…..somebody has to pay for it. It is not like Football where the direct cost of a match is the price of a football + price of the poles to build the goal posts.

  108. And meanwhile it is being reported that the Quantum deal is still being worked out.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111668

    Kind of late now that Hulkenberg is with FI and James Allison is with Ferrari. If F1 was better at sharing the wealth, maybe this whole debacle would not be the biggest F1 story right now.

    1. @bullmello it looks like Quantum has’nt had enough taking the entire formula one world for a big long ride !!!!!

  109. People keep saying F1 is TOP SPORT! But how the heck is it? There is no professionalism anymore! 3 , maximum 4 teams can pay their drivers! The rest cannot afford it anymore, more so , they DEMAND money from their drivers!

    F1 should represent the talented drivers in the world pushing their limits??? Nah, what it represents is the RICH PEOPLE , trying to manage TYRES! LoL what a big joke formula 1 became… and Maldonado getting a seat at Lotus is the last drop!

  110. BasCB (@bascb) said
    I just hope we see Maldonado’s good side

    Maldonado has no good side. Only bad and worse sides.
    He has no consideration about other drivers on the track and had the nerve to suggest that the Williams team had somehow sabotaged his car.

    1. OH, come on @loup-garou. You can heartily dislike the way Maldonado behaves, the backing he gots etc. But just watch him do a lap of Monaco when he is tuned in, and you recognize that he IS very good when he does that (His pole lap in GP2 there, Monaco 2011 he had a great quali lap, or watch him in Barcelona 2012 of course, or one or 2 other occasions that same year).

      To say there is nothing good about the guy is just as much nonsense as saying that Alonso drives like god all the time, or that Schumacher was infallible

  111. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    1st December 2013, 0:39

    heartbroken

  112. Mark McDonald
    1st December 2013, 0:40

    Would it not have made far more sense for Lotus to sign Sergio Perez (with his Telmex money)? From what I have read over the past couple of days, hiring Maldonado has already turned out to be a PR nightmare. Mister Lopez and Mr. Boullier either live in a fantastically magical dreamworld or they’re under a lot of pressure to find a lot of money.

  113. the F1 movie for next season.

  114. So this means the Quantum deal was a phantom deal? Such a shame Hulk again misses out on a top seat that he so deserves. While winning in a williams is great, that alone doesn’t instantly make PM better than Hulk. It is obvious that Hulk is better than PM but because of money which is so necessary for this sport PM gets it over Hulk. Money talks not talent and it has been like this for some time now.

  115. I do love to hate pastor.

  116. How many races before Maldonado blames Lotus for “sabotaging his car” after RoGro kicks his butt all over the track? I’d say it will happen before the mid-season break.

    Maldonado is a toxic piece of garbage and it is such a shame to see Lotus forced to take him and his money to survive.

  117. I am disappointed too. But the critics on Maldonado remind me on last years critis on Grosjean. Deja vu?

  118. I guess that’s it for Lotus, game very over…
    I’m switching to FI and Sauber support. And Marussia,
    but they aren’t likely to make much progress (sadly).
    But hey, RoGro may pull something out of the bag (like at the end of 2013)
    and get a few podiums (I hope).

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