Maldonado confirmed at Lotus in 2014

2014 F1 season

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. jhg103 (@joshgeake) said on 29th November 2013, 16:22

    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.

  2. Diceman (@diceman) said on 29th November 2013, 16:24

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

    Surprises indeed…

  3. The Word said on 29th November 2013, 16:24

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

  4. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 29th November 2013, 16:25

    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.

  5. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 29th November 2013, 16:26

    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!).

  6. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 29th November 2013, 16:31

    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.

  7. Broc Smith (@strifeforce) said on 29th November 2013, 16:31

    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.

    • Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 29th November 2013, 16:35

      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…

  8. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 29th November 2013, 16:31

    ….ugh.

  9. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 29th November 2013, 16:33

    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.

    • Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 29th November 2013, 16:40

      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

  10. Castor (@castor) said on 29th November 2013, 16:34

    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.

  11. The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 29th November 2013, 16:34

    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!

  12. Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 29th November 2013, 16:42

    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.’

  13. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 29th November 2013, 16:43

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

  14. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 29th November 2013, 16:45

    Would Lotus “sabotage” his car?

  15. 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!

  16. Somethingwittyer (@somethingwittyer) said on 29th November 2013, 16:51

    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.

  17. Shomir (@shomir) said on 29th November 2013, 16:51

    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

  18. Vic (@hendrix666) said on 29th November 2013, 16:54

    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!

  19. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 29th November 2013, 16:54

    say what ?!?!

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