Maldonado’s 2015 deal “a renewal of vows”

2015 F1 season

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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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Maldonado’s 2015 deal “a renewal of vows””

  1. Those Mercedes engines will be expensive next year :)

    1. Actually merc engines are cheapest ones.

  2. Apparently Grosjean’s seat at Lotus is under risk. The Mercedes engine deal was allegedly pushed through by Petronas, who want to subsidise the cost of the engines for Lotus in exchange for sponsorship space on the car, ousting current fuel company Total, who make up a big chunk of Grosjean’s sponsorship package.

    Petronas want to put a Malaysian, Jazeman Jaafar, in the other seat alongside Maldonado. He was runner-up in British F3 in 2012 but he was a pathetic 17TH in FR 3.5 last year…..

    Money talks, talent walks.

    1. well, if Total is looking for a team to place GRO in, I’m sure Mclaren would LOVE an excuse to put some red-and-white on their car for next year…

      1. Fuel is apparently a big factor in PU performance this year. I reckon MB would not be keen to be putting plonk from Total in their engines, or tuning them to accomodate it for a customer, but Honda might. McLaren is a Mobil team and that is a long-standing relationship. But Mobil has not stepped up to be title sponsor so a new engine might be the right to part ways.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      22nd July 2014, 17:02

      @celicadion23 – Have you got a source for the potential Jaafar promotion? It seems to me that whilst Jazeman is sponsored by Petronas, the likely prospect of toil in F1 would hardly glorify their brand. Even though some less than fabulous drivers have had plenty of sponsorship in the past, brands require good performances, as we saw with PDVSA withdrawing their support for Johnny Ceccotto last year after a car-crash (literally) of a season. Personally I think it is highly unlikely that Lotus would agree to sign such an unspectacular driver…they write the contracts after all.

    3. @celicadion23 I thought Jaafar/Petronas was just looking for some FP1s, which Lotus could provide, but the part about fuel supplier deepens it…. Petronas were looking for £1.5m I think for the privilege of running Jaafar and supplying the fuel. Total could just sponsor Grosjean for more than that amount and then Lotus could keep the Total logos?

      This would be similar to what Perez did with Force India, i.e. get sponsors to pay his salary, Hulk’s salary and due back-salary (2012 at least), McLaren’s tech debt and a few bob left over for 2014 car development/Mercedes technology transfer.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        23rd July 2014, 13:33

        @fastiesty – I’ve a bit of research and Petronas fuel comes with the Mercedes engine, but Petronas only sponsor Mercedes. So in the case of Grosjean staying or in the more likely case that Grosjean goes to McLaren who in turn place the Total sponsored Vandoorne in Romain’s seat, Total will continue to be a sponsor but not a supplier, which is actually a better deal for Total. Jafaar has done a test at Silverstone with Mercedes, but was apparently unimpressive because Autosport reported that his Petronas sponsorship had been decreased following the test; long story short the closest Jazeman will get to F1 will been in the unlikely prospect of an FP1 session.

        1. @william-brierty That all makes sense.. the only thing I am wondering is if Honda will push to have a WDC in the line-up, even if it is Button over Grosjean.

    4. I thought this when Lotus announced they were switching to Mercedes engines next year. Total are not going to fuel a Mercedes engine. It would be odd if Petronas want space on the car considering they are getting good exposure from Mercedes’ form. Like Iestyn said, maybe Total can just continue to sponsor Lotus, but not be a supplier.

      Also, there is speculation about Grosjean (like many others) going to McLaren, which I find hard to believe. But if it happened, I imagine he’d cut all Total ties as McLaren can afford to go without them and they already have ExxonMobil providing the fuel, which I’d guess will continue into the Honda era. Total basically needs Renault (Red Bull).

      1. i guess the situation was:
        PDVSA: do you want our money=
        Lotus: HELL yeah!
        PDVSA: ok, you can have it as long as you have a decent car.
        Lotus: eeeer… someone knows anyone in mercedes?

        Or maybe not.

        As for Grosjean, he’s a talent on his own, i don’t think he needs the sponsor to get in any top team, besides, he can cost a third of what button’s being paid, so it’s a win win situation for mclaren: cheaper and (at least) as fast as Button.
        You may say talent is not enough, and tell me about Hulk, but if he were a little shorter, he surely will be driving for a top team (if he had the PDVSA money, i’m sure that Ferrari or McLaren would stretch the car to fit them, but as it is, sadly i don’t think he can get a top drive, even when he totally deserves it)

    5. it seems to me that no one notice that PDVSA, afterall, is an Oil company, as much as it is petronas, total or exxon-mobil (and have some pretty good market in the US… venezuela with business in the US? yep. After all, as someon said: Money talks…)

      1. PDVSA is a sanctioned (in a limited manner) by the U.S. Government for supporting Iran, but its fully-controlled affiliates are not. See, e.g., CiTGO stations all over the U.S. It’s quite amazing but foreign policy is defined by interests, not morality, even for “exceptional” countries.

  3. A message to Pastor,
    What motivates you Pastor? Your ugly, reckless driving is a huge blight on the sport. Let somebody that can drive use your Venesualan millions.. You can watch F1 on your yacht surrounded by Venesualan chicks. Your only concern will be not bumping into any of your leggy friends, knocking them overboard.

    Kind regards,


  4. They may have renewed vows but I expect a divorce at some point in the future.

  5. More like a renewal of woes…..

    1. Max Verstappen FTW
      22nd July 2014, 17:46

      lmao.. but crying my eyes out over the advertisements on the webs these days.. :'(

  6. It’s a good thing. Maldonado staying in F1 means Lotus staying in F1. Also, he’s a good driver to have around. He’s a personality everybody hates, which is something every sport needs, and lets face it, he’s doing some entertaining stuff.

    1. @saints You remember that China FP2 :

      Maldonado: I crash ( i know that you know but just … you know… i don’t know what to say else)
      Mark Slade: Ouhhh..Ok ( i saw that man, you think i’m blind??? )
      Maldonado: sorry ( i still don’t know what to say )

      1. Haha yes, exactly what I’m talking about. Maldonado can be very entertaining, it’s better for F1 to have him than not to have him.

  7. Lotus – “renewal of vows” , “prowess of Enstone”

    me – “severe case of nausea”

    Whilst Grosjean is not my favorite driver on the grid, he does have some positive qualities. He has proven he can eliminate his errors without losing his speed. I hope he can escape from Lotus and land a seat at a decent team.

  8. You may now crash the bride.

    1. Hahahah.. nice

  9. For an accurate article replace every ‘Pastor’ or ‘Maldonado’ in this article with ‘PDVSA’

  10. Lotus is the gold-digger remarrying a rich but abusive man?

    1. Nail on the head

  11. Times are bad for Lotus. To make a statement like ‘renewal of vows’ for re-signing the most rubbish driver on the grid for nothing more than money.

    Guess the car colours of black and gold make sense…. Gold digging for oil money

  12. Was anybody expecting him to leave? As much as he is one of the most hated drivers on the grid, he’s occasionally quick and the millions are exactly what Lotus need. Would I replace him with another driver if they had the finances, of course, but I would rather see the team on the grid first.

  13. “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.”

    ok, im sure it went like this,

    Gastaldi: ok maldo, has the money been wired from pdvsa yet?
    Maldo: no, I’m just on the phone with them now, they say transfer is in progress,
    Gastaldi: ah, I see it, yeah ok you’re good for next year…

    this man is a joke to the racing world, I have never seen a driver drive THIS BAD for so long and retain a seat in F1. May the crash highlights continue!

  14. there are some drivers that they don’t really deserve f1 seat:
    1-max chilton

    1. I think if you’re putting Guttierez in there… you should include Sutil as well. He has been pretty sub par this year.

      I still think Maldonado it the least deserving driver on the grid.. followed by all the options named above

    2. If you are making those assessments on their performance compared to their team mates, shouldn’t you be including Vettel and Kimi.

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