Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has described Pastor Maldonado’s deal to continue driving for the team next year as “a renewal of vows”.
Maldonado has endured a difficult start to life at Lotus. The E22 was not ready for the first pre-season test, was extremely unreliable in the opening races, and Maldonado is yet to score a point this season.
However Maldonado has pledged his future to the team for another year, having switched to them from Williams during the off-season.
“Myself and Gerard Lopez spent a lot of time with Pastor in Hockenheim, where we sat down and discussed the future which was all very positive,” said Gastaldi.
“Pastor is very much part of the future at Enstone and it was a matter of routine for both parties to confirm that he has a multi-year deal and will be in one of our cockpits next season. We are very happy to confirm this in public, as is Pastor and his partners.”
“We were validating the deal we have with Pastor, confirming that we have a multi-year deal, reinforcing from both sides our commitment to each other,” added Gastaldi. “It’s a renewal of vows after a tough honeymoon, if you like.”
“I joined Lotus F1 Team on a multi-year deal,” said Maldonado, “but there is always talk and gossip in Formula One about drivers and teams”.
“We both know we haven’t had the first season either of us wanted in terms of results so this was a clear statement that we’re both committed to working together and getting results in the future.”
The team is yet to announce whether Romain Grosjean will continue with them next year.
Grosjean first raced for the team at the end of 2009, when it was called Renault, then began his first full season with them in 2012. He ended last year on a high, with five consecutive top four finishes, but like Maldonado has suffered with the team’s latest car.
“Romain has been part of the Lotus F1 Team family for many years, even since his GP2 days,” said Gastaldi.
“Let’s be honest. Romain as a top, top driver is not happy with the 2014 season and this is mirrored by everyone at the team of course. We cannot confirm anything just yet as the timing will be right when we are both comfortable to announce something.
“All I can say is that it’s certainly the intention for Romain to stay at Enstone and continue what has been a great partnership and working relationship.”
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