March 9, 1985
Lotus F1 Team
|Career statistics to end 2013|
“Money can’t buy everything it’s true,” the Beatles used to warble, but it can buy a drive in a leading Grand Prix team.
“It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career,” said Pastor Maldonado when his departure was announced,“and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season.”
The Venezuelan comes with backing from his home country worth millions of dollars, and he comes to Lotus after an increasingly bitter breakdown of his short relationship with Williams, whom he joined in 2011.
True, in 2012 he did bring Sir Frank his first victory since 2004. But those in F1 who saw that Spanish success as a false dawn were proven right when the Grove team endured a humiliating 2013.
Maldonado had to wait until the middle race of the season to score his first point in Hungary. By the end of the season he had failed to add a single point more, and in the latter stages he was outshone by the brave and focused rookie Bottas, who claimed four points in the sister Williams in Austin.
Maldonado was the last of the 18 drivers who scored points in the 2013 World Championship and Lotus seem sure they can get more out of him.
He’s not an unknown quantity at Enstone: Lotus chief Eric Boullier had Maldonado in his DAMS team during the World Series by Renault back in 2005.
“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,” Boullier insists.
“We are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track.”