herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Maldonado keen to 'push on' after joining Lotus

Pastor Maldonado has been handed the opportunity to prove he is as good as he thinks he is after signing a deal to race for Lotus in 2014.

Maldonado replaces Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen at the Enstone-based team, the Venezuelan partnering Romain Grosjean, who has been retained for a third season.

Lotus have been forced to move for Maldonado given he continues to be heavily sponsored by Venezuela's state-owned oil and gas giant PDVSA.

Although Nico Hulkenberg was team principal Eric Boullier's first choice, that was only on the proviso Lotus tied up a deal for the Quantum Motorsports consortium to take a 35pc stake in the team.

However, with talks with Quantum Motorsports having failed to reach an agreement as yet, Boullier has had to turn to Maldonado over Hulkenberg, who is set to return to Force India after a year with Sauber.

Boullier said: "It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season. Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado. It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track."

VICTORY

Maldonado joins Lotus after three difficult years at Williams, where the obvious highlight was his surprise victory in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. The 28-year-old, who is being replaced by Felipe Massa, earlier this month claimed he was "happy" to be leaving Williams, believing he had delivered more to them than they had done for him.

Now Maldonado has the chance to prove himself in a front-running team that finished fourth in this year's Constructors' Championship.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014," said Maldonado.

"It's no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1. I can't wait to be racing in black and gold."

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