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 ?ǣ demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team ?ǣ 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. “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.

  2. scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 29th November 2013, 17:05

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

  3. McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 29th November 2013, 17:07

    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.

  4. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 29th November 2013, 17:12

    I just vomited in my mouth…malfunctionado

  5. sbl on tour (@sbl-on-tour) said on 29th November 2013, 17:13

    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

  6. svianna (@svianna) said on 29th November 2013, 17:14

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Steven (@steevkay) said on 29th November 2013, 17:18

    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.

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 29th November 2013, 21:05

      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.

  9. 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.

  10. svarun (@svarun) said on 29th November 2013, 17:34

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

  11. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 29th November 2013, 17:40

    @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.

  12. 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.

    • Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 29th November 2013, 18:03

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

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 29th November 2013, 23:11

      @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

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 30th November 2013, 4:37

      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.

  13. prelvu (@prelvu) said on 29th November 2013, 17:48

    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″???

  14. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 29th November 2013, 17:49

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

  15. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 29th November 2013, 17:52

    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.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 30th November 2013, 5:20

      @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.

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