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

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  1. 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.

  2. Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 29th November 2013, 18:00

    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.

  3. Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 29th November 2013, 18:03

    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…

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 30th November 2013, 4:20

      @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.

      • Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 30th November 2013, 6:27

        @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…

  4. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 29th November 2013, 18:07

    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.

  5. Wesley (@wesley) said on 29th November 2013, 18:14

    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.

  6. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 29th November 2013, 18:30

    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.

  7. Piyush (@square-route) said on 29th November 2013, 18:32

    happy for Force India …. Hulk n cheko … Dreamyyy

  8. Nickpkr251 said on 29th November 2013, 18:32

    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…

  9. Breno (@austus) said on 29th November 2013, 18:40

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Girts (@girts) said on 29th November 2013, 18:46

    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.

  12. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 29th November 2013, 18:56

    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.

    • McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 30th November 2013, 8:13

      –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.

  13. Yusha (@freebird78) said on 29th November 2013, 19:18

    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.

  14. Luis Conde said on 29th November 2013, 19:28

    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.

  15. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 29th November 2013, 19:29

    This truly is Black Friday.

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