Lotus has confirmed the announcement Pastor Maldonado will drive for them in 2016 was the continuation of a pre-existing deal.
“We have an existing multi-year deal with Pastor so it was time to publicly confirm he will be driving with us as part of this deal in 2016,” explained team principal Federico Gastaldi.
“Whilst it is true that Pastor has experienced a difficult season in 2015, from working with him we know his strengths very well,” he added.
“This year has certainly been a trying season for many reasons, but Pastor is always positive and always delivering to the best of his ability. He is a pleasure to work with and we will both benefit from the continuity of the relationship continuing into its third season.”
Maldonado said the confirmation of his seat was “one less thing for my management team to worry about”.
“It’s true that we did have a contract for next year but as we’ve seen before, Formula One is sometimes not too friendly towards contracts,” he said.
“It’s great for the team to be able to confirm their faith in me and I’m really looking forward to continuing our relationship and racing with them for a third season.”
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41 comments on “Maldonado already had 2016 deal – Lotus”
22nd September 2015, 11:31
For he might be faster than Senna, more cunning than Schumacher or more consistent than Vettel if he can’t keep his car out of the wall or sidepods of other cars there is no point in keeping him but the very wecome PDVSA money. Never have I wished a driver out of F1 as hard as Pastor Maldonado.
22nd September 2015, 11:40
I must disagree. For me Pastor is a fascinating driver, in that you never quite know what will happen. He joined F1 in a time where reliability was at its peak and with him came attrition. It was no longer a matter of where a driver would finish, it became a matter of if a driver would finish. Surviving a pass on Pastor shows great skill. He is great for the show!
22nd September 2015, 11:55
i totally endorse this view, we might need a few more pastors!!
22nd September 2015, 12:23
They might aswell add Mariokart bonusses and shells then, or let a monstertruck drive in the opposite direction…
22nd September 2015, 16:07
Huh? This doensn’t make any sense.
Pastor is OK 75% of the time and the 25% of the time he screws up, it’s pretty enjoyable to watch.
22nd September 2015, 12:25
If you gave him a car capable of an easy front row/pole, he would be a FORMIDABLE Opponent. Anything else and he is a mobile wrecking yard.
22nd September 2015, 17:26
He had a front-row capable car in 2012. Apart from one inherited pole (and possibly victory) he spent most races with such lousy pace that he dropped out of the pointa. When he wasn’t busy being overtaken by his team mate who had qualified 5-10 places behind, he was hard at work setting the all time record for most penalties accrued in a season.
He’s not formidable with a fast car, he is flat out dangerous.
22nd September 2015, 15:39
For me this is all about money. Maldonado confirmed for LOTUS (Not RENAULT).
LOTUS needs money to pay salaries and need it now.
Confirming Maldonado now and having him pay the money now – gives LOTUS to pay their bills and as such have no debts when Renault take over.
Then everyone will announce that LOTUS is now bankrupt.
Renault announce a brand new team with brand new drivers and Maldonado will not be the one chosen – unfortunately.
If you don’t believe this story – please look onto the stars, it is all written in them and so obvious that it makes this almost unbelievable – watch this space………………
Fudge Ahmed (@)
22nd September 2015, 11:36
Works teams 2016:
Lewis Hamilton: 3x WDC
Nico Rosberg: The Man Who Beat Michael Schumacher
Sebastian Vettel: 4x WDC and the most successful driver in modern F1
Kimi Raikkonen: 1x WDC and the most popular driver in modern F1
Fernando Alonso: 2x WDC and widely considered the best driver in modern F1
Stoffel Vandoorn: The Next Big Thing (after Max Verstappen)
Jean Eric Verge: Likeable chap who was somewhat unfairly and unceremoniously dropped. Potential unknown
Pastor Maldonado: No words
Doesn’t really compare does it!
22nd September 2015, 12:26
Only thing we know for fact is that Maldonado drives for that team. Renault and Vergne are not confirmed. Besides Vergne is tied to Ferrari so does not seem likley. If Renault is buying Lotus they were fools to let Grosjean go.
22nd September 2015, 18:09
A rather unusual Silly Season. Instead of the usual driver swaps, we have teams, manufacturers, engines suppliers and THEN the drivers to consider.
Fudge Ahmed (@)
23rd September 2015, 1:00
Purely speculative post but based on all the strong paddock talk of late (McLaren more a shot in the dark than any other)
Very strong indications that Grosjean has committed to Haas which on the surface is baffling but it makes sense if he has some sort of strong indication from Ferrari who will be a top team again by 2017 and will also likely have a spare seat vacated by Raikkonen…
My point was more about the marketing image portrayed by each respective works out. The quality of the drivers is almost as big a part of that as the quality of the car. You could probably put Max Verstappen in a W05 and he may well perform as Hamilton has done 8 times out of 10 right now but he will not sell as many C Classes… yet! :)
Fudge Ahmed (@)
23rd September 2015, 1:02
Vergne is no more tied to Ferrari then Perez was at a time when he was signed up on a whim following Hamilton’s departure I feel. Most drivers would grab an opportunity to race a midfield car than develop a frontrunner behind the scenes.
22nd September 2015, 16:08
Pretty sure Romain will drive for Lotus next year …
22nd September 2015, 11:37
And since Renault isn’t confirmed and we have a court case soon, we thought this was an excellent time to confirm the announcement.
Fudge Ahmed (@)
22nd September 2015, 11:43
22nd September 2015, 23:01
16th October 2015, 12:58
Not really. What F1 fans seem to miss is the “a contract was already there” thing.
Nether Maldonado or the team are very pleased with each other right now but they are stuck together really.
If they want to fire him they will have to break the contract and they do not have the money to do so. If he wants out then he has to convince PDVSA to give millions to Lotus as contract breaking fees(Williams got quite a few millions from him even when he left) and pay another big sum for the new team he was going and that team at best would be Force India.
After paying Williams like that PDVSA aren’t willing to pay double for another team change and especially when is not him going to some top team but just Force India at best.
So yeah, they are stuck with each other for another year whether they want it or not.
22nd September 2015, 11:52
I.e. the non-abortion of a pre-existing deal – if Renault wanted to dump him, they would have dumped him. The sponsorship Maldonado brings with him is so big (tens of millions of pounds) that without it, the Renault deal will probably not have gone through. At least, assuming Renault actually bought Lotus.
22nd September 2015, 11:54
That is quite a useless comment. I assume that every driver is delivering to the best of his ability. It’s how able he is that matters.
ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
22nd September 2015, 14:40
Oftentimes these comments are more about what it DOESN’T say. @matthijs
They could have said: “We know him extremely well: he’s a true racer and he knows how to motivate the team. I am convinced he is one of the best talents on the grid and I am proud that he will continue to race in the colours of [our team]”. click here to reveal who said this.
Or: “[His] blend of experience and raw speed is a rare attribute in Formula One”. (reveal)
24th September 2015, 12:01
@coldfly Well said
22nd September 2015, 11:58
People are going to jump on the sponsorship money he brings as his only strength but you’re forgetting one other crucial thing he brings to the team thanks to his driving ability, all those incidents get TV coverage and the media talking about the team. You can’t buy that publicity.
Keith Campbell (@keithedin)
22nd September 2015, 13:11
But you can apparently sell it for PDVSA sponsorship money. Win, win!
Willem Cecchi (@)
22nd September 2015, 13:35
But then you have to buy / produce new suspensions, nosecones, gearboxes etc…
22nd September 2015, 13:43
Most teams do that anyway when they bring updates to the races. Knowing he isn’t going to finish a race cleanly means they can save money not worrying about making the car any faster between races.
ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
22nd September 2015, 14:45
And don’t forget all the fuel they save by not finishing :p
22nd September 2015, 19:11
I’m surprised they don’t underfuel him like it’s a qualifying run, he could be up front grabbing all the attention fighting with the leaders when he crashes out rather than bumbling around the middle or the back of the pack.
22nd September 2015, 13:53
I don’t mind him. He offers a fascinating combination of sometimes tremendous speed and great inconsistency. A driver with his talents would’ve felt at home in the seventies.
Barcelona 2012 is the one race one simply can’t ignore. He showed, with just over 20 races of experience, that, on a good day, he can out-race a cannibal like Alonso by pushing over a complete race distance without making the slightest mistake.
You can’t do something like that just by accident. That’s simply not possible.
His problem is that he’s never quite been able to live up to his best races of 2012, building up a solid reputation of being “mental”.
That’s partly true, because he seems to be a die-hard risk-taker. Which is funny, because he gets lots of hate from the same people who venerate Räikkönen for supposedly being a seventies-style rebel, who doesn’t pay attention to social norms and expectations. That’s the tricky thing about image: It’s better to be perceived as someone out of the ordinary, than actually being that way. In many respects, Maldonado is what people think Räikkönen is. He doesn’t give a damn. He wants to win or crash while trying. That’s an anachronistic attitude, but it’s a real difference from all the other drivers.
Speaking of crashing: It’s hard to keep track of all his incidents, but so far, he was at the losing end of the vast majority of his collisions with other cars. Especially “Mr. Nice” Jenson Button seems to believe that he’s somehow doesn’t need to respect Maldonado as much as other drivers, since the Venezuelan will get the blame anyways.
I’m not discontent that he will stick with us for another season. Maybe he will excel again, maybe not. But he will certainly be entertaining.
22nd September 2015, 14:28
I understand why others here wouldn’t want him on the grid, he’s almost certainly not of the 20 best drivers in the world. And you scroll down a Maldonado page to read the silly comments but then bang… He wins Suzuka.
Antonio Nartea (@tony031r)
23rd September 2015, 1:17
@nase Feel free to criticize my opinion but there’s no way Maldonado would have avoided a fatal accident if he drove in the 70s.
23rd September 2015, 11:44
Let’s jump directly to the criticism:
Maldonado isn’t dumb. He knows that surviving an accident is the default outcome in modern F1 cars. Having a certain attitude doesn’t mean that one acts in exactly the same way, no matter the circumstances.
He does get involved in collisions quite often, there’s no denying that. But those are hardly ever dangerous accidents. Most of them are collisions that damage some bodywork, make the engine stutter, or break a suspension or two. We rarely saw him flying or running straight into a wall, did we?
Additionally, as I said, the trend is such that the majority of his collisions are caused by other drivers.
His most dangerous accident was during the Monaco GP in 2013, when he was squeezed into a wall by Max Chilton. That one could’ve ended badly a few decades ago. But other than that, I don’t see any evidence to sustain your claim.
22nd September 2015, 15:29
What purpose does announcing the deal was long in place serve, one day after announcing he is going to stay with the team?
Neel Jani (@neelv27)
22nd September 2015, 15:40
I don’t understand why some people are in awe of Pastor’s speed. Think about it, when we speak of achievements of Pastor, only one event comes to mind; Spanish GP 2012. Is that it? 1 good race in a career of 90 races?
I fail to remember since 2012, a Pastor performance worth admiring!
22nd September 2015, 16:11
He was pretty good at Valencia until he crashed into Lewis, no? 2012, 2013? I don’t remember exactly.
23rd September 2015, 11:53
And in my opinion, that was as much a case of Hamilton crashing into him, as the other way around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Wcch5nR-g
22nd September 2015, 21:25
To be fair to Maldonado, he had some quite good races in 2012 – in the 2012 Singapore GP, he stuck his car on the front row in qualifying and would have scored a podium but for a hydraulics failure, which forced him to retire. He also had a fairly strong race in Abu Dhabi that year, starting 3rd and finishing 5th around a circuit that did not particularly suit the car.
As for subsequent years, well, it has to be said that the cars he has driven haven’t exactly been great. The Williams FW-35 was, frankly, terrible – with the exception of the US GP, Bottas performed just as badly, if not worse, than Maldonado did that year.
As for the Lotus E22, that car was fairly diabolical too – Lotus admitted during the season that the diffuser on that car would stall unpredictably, so the handling balance of the car would wildly fluctuate throughout a lap. Even the greatest of drivers would struggle when the car would lose around 20% of its peak downforce during a lap in an unpredictable manner.
As for this season, whilst he has had problems, several of his retirements have come about from mechanical issues – he had brake failures in Malaysia and China due to failures on the brake by wire system on his car and did not even start in Monaco due to a fuel pump failure. He was also taken out of several GP’s where other drivers collided with him – Ricciardo spun Grosjean into Maldonado in the British GP and Ericsson pushed Grosjean into Maldonado in the Italian GP, whilst in China Maldonado’s rear brake problem was compounded when Button crashed into him.
I wouldn’t say that Maldonado is the greatest of drivers, but I do feel that he is sometimes overcriticised and blamed for incidents which were the fault of other drivers because it is easier to pin the blame on him.
22nd September 2015, 15:45
Great! Now his management can worry about –
1) The record number of penalty points on Pastor’s license. Will he miss a race or two this season? Or will he eventually be banned for his inability to drive up to professional motor sports standards?
2) The amount in damages the Renault will have to incur next year, and will PDVSA money be enough to cover it? Will Pastor be so bad that Renault will pay PDVSA just to get rid of him?
3) Will Pastor get another teammate who destroyed him in every race weekend? Will he be able to make that teammate miss both FP1 and FP2 sessions, so it gives Pastor a chance?
22nd September 2015, 21:32
@Todfod, I note that you did not mention the fact that Grosjean has exactly the same number of points on his licence as Maldonado (six), whilst Verstappen has racked up a similar number (five).
23rd September 2015, 4:40
we need this clown for entertainment.
23rd September 2015, 5:30
there is too much hate towards pastor, he is the single most reason why lotus cars are on grid… and that alone is good enough to have him complete his crash course in F1… once he has done with his crash course he will be a champion!!
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