Maldonado sponsor ‘overdue’ payment to Renault

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In the round-up: Pastor Maldonado’s place at Renault may be under threat due to a late payment for his backer PDVSA.

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Could F1 return to Zandvoort?
Zandvoort will need more than just track changes if it is to host F1 again, says Nick:

The local infrastructure has a hard time dealing with crowds. Events like the Masters of F3 (more so in the past) and DTM cause huge traffic jams. With the current Max Verstappen hype and no signs the local government is planning on improving local infrastructure, it’d probably be a logistical nightmare even if the track gets up to standards.

As much as I love Zandvoort, as much as I love F1, I don’t really love the idea of F1 at Zandvoort. The track is great but it could barely cope with 100,000 people for Masters of F3 in the previous decade, where most people would leave after the demonstrations by Marlboro-sponsored teams and the F3. For F1, everyone leaving at the same time. I don’t even want to think about it.
Nick (@Npf1)

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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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49 comments on “Maldonado sponsor ‘overdue’ payment to Renault”

  1. COTD is spot on, people need to get the idea of Zandvoort hosting an F1 GP out of their head, it’s just not going to happen.

    1. @andae23 Given it’s been given a makeover more recently, what about Assen? Would that not be a more suitable venue?

      1. According to Verstappen who drove on it recently Assen is a bike-track (whatever that means) and not so much suitable for cars.

        I don’t understand who that would work, but I am guessing he knows what he is talking about.

      2. Forget it. Quite honestly, money and the market talks- if there is a Belgian Grand Prix, there simply cannot be a Dutch Grand Prix. It’s either one or the other. Maybe possibly F1 could have a Dutch race after the Monaco GP- but there hasn’t been a Dutch Grand Prix since 1985; the company that owned the track back then went bankrupt, and it was effectively replaced by the Hungarian Grand Prix.

  2. The question really is, would any team have Maldonado if he didnt bring his Petro-Dollars? It would be a firm no.

    Although mainly associated with negative comments, Pastor has had his supporters saying he is quick and on his day he can go wheel to wheel with anyone, unless he crashes into them. Sorry Pastor, this doesnt cut the mustard anymore. Team who decided to take on his “services” have been constantly justifying their decision, commercial aspects aside, based on the win at Barcelona in 2012. It basically fits in with the “he can beat anyone on his day” belief. Yes, he can “beat” anyone on his day, by crashing into them.

    It would interesting to see how much of a net gain Lotus has had from Pastor’s bounty. If you consider the amount of money and time they would have had to spend rebuilding his car, 50 million quid could seem pretty ordinary.

    In the early days, I wanted to believe that Pastor was a good driver, as I liked his hard charging personality. However, this has changed over the past couple year. He hasnt improved, probably stayed stagnant while other around him have improved. He’s basically found his level, and its not good enough to be in F1 for an extended period.

    1. I prefer to think of Maldonado’s money as Revolutionary Socialist Petro-Dollars

      1. Fletch, when you put it that way it sounds like Pastor is being funded by Jeremy Corbyn…

      2. Please realize that sponsoring by PDVSA is not much more different then by an oil company of for instance Iran or Russia. In Venezuela the socialist were voted out of power recently in favor of the democratic party but managed to continue with their reign due to some dirty power plays. Pastors money comes from a country were people are far from free and the state of the country is quite deplorable. With the countries heavy dependancy on oil and low oil prices it should be unlikely the sponsoring will be continued.
        In any case these kind of sponsors should not be ethically accepted. But I guess all money is good in for FOM. :-(

        Thankfully Maldonado is such a skillful driver that he will get a contract based on his talent. :-)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          14th January 2016, 6:58

          In any case these kind of sponsors should not be ethically accepted.

          Dangerous grounds there, @maxv! Who is te determine which company can sponsor which team. I’m sure people can find ‘ethical’ reasons against many sponsors.

          The best way to clean up the sport is to make sure that talent makes more of a difference than sponsor money (less pay drivers).

          And whilst we are ‘cleaning up’; the sport’s revenue should go more to the teams/people who provide the show than to the people who own the shares and merely ‘milk’ the show.
          There is a lot to be said that BE in the past should’ve been the best paid person in F1; He built it from nothing to what it was 10-20 years ago. But now he is not adding anything to it rather than a way of milking fans/tracks/countries and let those funds flow to him and investors who have contributed nothing.
          The teams/drivers/engineers now provide the show. FIA should be impartial and guarantee that they can equitably compete, and the funds should flow primarily to them based on how successful they are and how much they add to the overall sport/show.

          1. People have been quite outspoken about the Soichi GP, so thought I would provide some background.
            Venezuela is not much differently ruled as Russia atm. It is just a country a bit further away, so not much known I guess. My folks live nearby and I have many friends in Venezuela. When people have nearly no food or means it is crazy to see the money go to Pastor..

            Same reasons should apply to Azerbaijan…you are giving corrupt people their “play things”.
            FOM is just hungry for money, no matter what the dictator or corruption. Not much different then FIFA. Not a healthy ground for good sporting.

        2. @maxv, as Coldfly states, your line of reasoning is questionable.

          Do you consider it unethical for McLaren to have a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, an organisation which was given the heaviest fine ever in the US ($3 billion) in 2012 for deliberately suppressing information about the adverse side effects of some of their drugs, bribing medical practitioners and using their drugs in unauthorised ways? Or, for that matter, the fact that, in 2014, the head of their Chinese division was given a suspended sentence and the company fined $490 million after being found guilty of channelling nearly $4 billion in bribes to Chinese medical practitioners over a 6 year period? Or is it the case that such ethical considerations only come into play when it is a driver you dislike?

          1. Pretty sure that the China fine was simply a foreign TNC being hung out to dry for the state’s benefit, although the point still stands, that ethics can rely on context/point of view.

          2. Legit companies are a bit more difficult to judge, aslong as they follow the law and pay their fines it is supposedly all good.

            PDVSA is fully government controlled though…so its the Venezuelan government sponsoring Pastor.

          3. @fastiesty, whilst it may be the case that the magnitude of the fine was exaggerated by the fact it was a foreign company that was being investigated, GSK admitted that their own internal investigations found sufficient evidence to suggest that at least some of the allegations were true (furthermore, the Financial Times claimed to have found evidence suggesting that SmithKline Beecham, which was an independent company at the time, was involved in bribing officials as far back as 2001). At the very least, whilst the overall scale is debatable, there seems to be enough evidence suggesting that not everything was entirely clean at GSK’s Chinese division.

            I’m glad, though, that you agree that the way in which some apply their ethical standards does seem to rely on their point of view and the parties involved.

          4. @maxv, just curious – do you therefore object to the actions of Petrobras and their sponsorship of Williams?

            Petrobras, whilst not wholly owned by the Brazilian state, is effectively controlled by the Brazilian government (which, directly and through state owned corporations, owns 64% of the company outright), and the Brazilian government remains one of the largest investors in the company. Indirectly, it could be said that the Brazilian government is sponsoring Massa – there have certainly been some who suspect that there has been pressure on Williams from Petrobras to continue with Massa.

            Petrobras, as is well known, is also involved in possibly the largest corruption scandal in Brazilian history – around $2 billion of funds, that the investigators know of, appear to have been appropriated by senior figures of the company and by government officials, whilst $22 billion in construction contracts are currently being investigated for potential fraud (making the sums discussed in relation to Maldonado look like pocket change). Would you consider it unethical for Williams to agree to a commercial deal with a company that is involved in such a situation?

        3. In any case these kind of sponsors should not be ethically accepted.

          I sometimes wonder… What right do we have to say one form of government is better than another?

          Socialism/communism is as valid a concept as the capitalist regimes we live in. Democracy is not the be-all-and-end-all, and has serious flaws in it’s implementation all over the world. A dictatorship, in theory, can be just as good for it’s people as a democracy. Many extol the virtues of democracy and capitalism, and denigrate the flaws of communism and socialism, ignoring the fact that both are just as valid and conducive to a happy, productive society if implemented properly.

          If we wish to make moral judgements, we should be applying standards based on treatment of the populace (and the rest of the world) rather than political system. I don’t know much about Venezuela, but countries such as Bahrain, China and Russia should be considered in the context of how they crush dissent with violence and marginalise sections of their population. The UK and US* should be judged on their actions against the rest of the world and the imposition of their values on foreign sovereign nations.

          Look at a countries actions, not their chosen political system.

          *Before I get arguments, I am not saying the UK and US are as bad as China and Russia, and am just making the point that democracy doesn’t automatically equal ethical government.

          1. Well US is ok, unless you are a young black male….

            Where should lines be drawn on sponsorship money? What about Tobaco companies? Or Oil companies that are one of the largest poluters?

            Teams should decide when the company paying them is providing more hurt to their image than money to their bank. Simple as that. and 45M per year… no problem few crashes here there might even be popular.

          2. @drmouse
            “if implemented properly”
            Haha, this excuse again.
            The moment you start to implementing socialism “properly” you stop calling it as such. It’s flawed to the core and unsustainable. I’m telling you this as a poster from Eastern Europe.

            Still, people have the right to self-determination and should be free to live under whatever regime they think suits them the best. I’m fine with Venezuelan oil sponsorship like I’m fine with having races in Gulf states. We have no right to tell others how to run their country. When I watch F1 I just want to see exciting races.

      3. By what ethical standards should it not be accepted? Like same ones that would prevent races in several countries?

        F1 is a global sport. World is a big place where many differing political situations exist, should Venezuelan national football team be prevented from taking part in tournaments? Maldonado is fortunate to get such backing, it is Venezuelan’s government to give. People there “decide” what kind of political system they will have.

        Offcorse 45M€ sponsorship seems really nice. No wonder he is consistently finding seats in F1. The best paydriver of all time?

        Oh wait there was Alonso + Santander. :D He also won a Spanish GP… twice!

        Really maybe Mercedes should take Maldonado, Lewis Hamilton costs them what 30+M per year… Maldonado would cost them -45M per year. Sounds like a bargain for performance they would be getting. And I hazard a bet, he would win races in W06 and Nico would be their nice polite German champion.

        And we would get drama up front, oh yes! Just imagine Maldonado in a proper front running car like Mercedes?

        1. This is actually a very good idea, would spice things up for 2016.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            14th January 2016, 8:16

            Maldonado in a Mercedes.
            Best idea ever! (@jureo) a win/win/win/win/win/win
            – win Mercedes; +$75m
            – win Nico
            – win Magnussen
            – win fans; more excitement & competitition
            – win ferrari/others; more chances of win/podium
            – win Lewis; do what he really likes
            – win Senna; no longer being compared to LH.

    2. I was tempted to write that Pastor plays an important role for the sport in giving the fans someone to slag off … Then I remembered that this is Formula 1, and we’re experts at slagging off any of the drivers.

      It’s no surprise that the massive sag in oil prices has led PDVSA to reconsider throwing their money around, but I wonder if we’ll see something similar happen between Petronas and Mercedes (though Petronas are getting considerably better value).

    3. Who knew this comment about Crashtor’s driving qualifications would lead to an argument about political and governmental structures…

  3. :D Lol watching 2005 Japanese GP, at work… 2am nothing going on….

    Except Fernando Alonso just overtook Michael Schumacher on the outside of 130R. replay for you all

    Amazing, very few overtakes but the battle OMG! Several Laps, Michael holds Alonso, while Kimi Raikonen catches up.

    Keep in mind… no DRS, Michellins, no Kers, no Ers.. just good ol French V10. Though I hate the engine noise of them old V10’s kinda annoying in middle of the night.

    Looking forward to see how Kimi wins this race… :D

    1. Race over… amazing, saw like 8 overtakes over entire race. But Lord they were fast and good.

      Amazing, entire race on one set of tires, Raikonen doing laptimes in 1:31-1:132 region, beating lap record after lap record for several laps to catch Fissicela and overtake in spectacula fashion.

      1’36.145 Laptimes this year on similar fuel loads.

      What struck me most was ability to push lap after lap after lap after lap. Raikonen was basiclly pushing entire race.

      This is how F1 should be. Best tires in the world, best engines, best aero, best drivers. Fuel up, no pitstops unless something gets damaged… and go race.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        14th January 2016, 8:03

        Watch Barcelona 1996. Really is a level field seeing immense skill work. My favourite race.

    2. True but watch the majority of other races from 2005 especially Canada drives home the fact, that season was awful in terms of racing, yeah there was the San Marino duel at the end but like Brundle says in Canada, this is not good racing overall, but Imola and Suzuka were phenomenal that being said

      1. melbourne, Imola, Germany, Japan, Spa, Brazil, Monaco. Were all great races! probably few others i have forgotten.

        That year had the best by far rules of recent years. Fuel stops and tyres that lasted a whole race, but marginal tyres as there was a tyre war so the tyres were soft as they could get away with .. they would be knackered by the end as everyone was flat out. It made for tense final few laps. But it was real racing not artificial now with pirelli and DRS, if you didn’t look after the tyres you were in trouble (renault at monaco).

        2005 was a great year. Shame Bridgestones and Ferrari kicked up such a fuss that they went back to 04 tyre rules. & shame we had indy which could of happened under any generation of rules.

  4. I was one of the people who used to really go against the idea of reverse grids. And a part of me still is, for at the end of the day, it could still be unfair for races such as Monaco, Singapore etc. But recently, I have really started to like the idea of reverse grids. The three races in recent times when we effectively had reverse grids (2005 Australian GP, 2005 Japanese GP and 2010 Malaysian GP) were among the greatest races in that season, possibly ever. Reverse grids would really make each and every race interesting, and the teams would be forced to use less wings and build cars which can follow others. Probably won’t ever happen, but I wish they would consider it. But the backlash towards F1 for it would mean that it won’t happen/work due to the negativity surrounding it, similar to double points; not the most terrible idea, as it is portrayed to be by practically everyone.

  5. praying: “please stay overdue, please stay overdue, please stay overdue”…!!!!

    1. +1. Praying all day all night long! :)

  6. Common if Maldonaldo is gone, all action is gone. And chance or random SC deployment.

    1. We now have Kimi to get us that stupid accident that brings out the SC though

  7. I like the idea that F1 would be able to take back in experience from formula E. I would hope McLaren, Williams and Renault could take that to improve. And it would be a nice background for Audi (or whatever company from VWAG) to get into F1

  8. Is the “Home of British Motorsport” the official name of Silverstone Circuit?

    And I would never think that going around Les Invalides would be a race one day but to be honest I just been twice at Les Invalides at the compound is quite big…

    1. Is the “Home of British Motorsport” the official name of Silverstone Circuit?

      Nah, it’s just advertising

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    14th January 2016, 9:05

    I know it could be political posturing, and I know Andrew Benson wrote it, but I am taking promise from the fact Magnussen was shown round the Enstone factory last week.

    For a guy that destroyed a talented field of opposition in FR3.5, and had a rookie season as good if not better than Kvyat, Bottas, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg enjoyed, it would simply be absurd if he wasn’t given a second chance. Especially when he’s been smeared by his former team saying he “missed targets” when in actual fact they lost the battle with the sponsors to keep him in the car.

    1. Agree. While I don’t think K Mag is the next best thing, I think he will perform better than he did in his 1st season. And let’s face it…. Maldonado has set the bar really low, so I’m sure Magnussen is a worthy replacement.

    2. Magnussen could have been shown around because of a possible reserve driver gig. This story about Maldo’s sponsors not paying was also in the news 4-5 months ago. And as far as I remembered, the story ended with the money being transfered and Lotus confirming Maldonado’s seat.

  10. It clearly shows what the team thinks of Pastor and it’s safe to say most of the paddock’s thoughts are equally in line with the same that he is only given importance since he is a driver with a huge financial backing otherwise his skills are not appreciated at all. I’ll be glad if he is out.

  11. I just read the Mark Hughes article on the 2017 changes and it is very frightening. Regardless of any speed (in terms of lap times) improvements we might get, the tires issue together with the fuel limits wil almost for sure result in more lift and coast as the article points out.
    And if the gain will be around 2s that would probably still come with the current specs anyway as we always seen times dropping and dropping every year with the same spec as the cars and engines improve within the same set of rules…

    So the idea of one team (apparently Red Bull) of dropping the changes altogether would be the best decision. It will be, as many times before, a change for the worse.
    I am surprised that the teams still voted in favor of the reduced changes. We often complain that the sport’s management has terrible ideas but it seems the team’s management follow similar lines of thought…

    1. The article also showed me the issue with current tires. I had not fully grasped the concept behind the designed-to-degrade tires. It is actually another of the stupid ideas to artificially have closer racing. Like Keith put it many times, F1 is full of knee-jerk reactions to perceived problems that sometimes do not even exist or are not a big issue.
      It is ridiculous that F1 cannot go faster due to tires, when they can build tires that would stand that, just because they decided in 2012 that the tires isntead of being the best thing possible (like what they try with everythign else) need to degrade or be “unpredictable” in order to have closer competition…

      1. @bakano NASCAR and IndyCar does the same and create way better racing – the key, like I’ve said countless times, others have said it also, one quoting Button on the topic just the other day, is the gazillion sensors and computing power the teams have.

        They have so much computer power that they can fit models on every ‘invisible’ variable (like wear and deg, but also mechanical issues) incredibly quickly and then run the race with those variables being known and calculated. And predictability leads to boredom.

        There was a forum topic here on the biggest issues of F1 currently and I have labeled this as the number one. It flew completely under the radar after on-track testing was curbed in 2009 and it’s the real issue that is not even realised by the main decision-makers, let alone going through the many iterations and meetings before a remedy is brought about. IT is also extremely hard to fight against (what do you do, impound all the computers in the factories?)

        1. @atticus-2 They create much more action, I cannot say its better racing, let alone way better. It’s action packed racing but you realise that some of it comes from the “artificial” rules. Still, I don’t think it’s all down to a specific tire rule.
          There are many other rules that shape Nascar and Indy into what they are.
          Still I do not agree with the opinion that Nascar and Indy are better racing. The only thing I concur is that it has much more action and it is usually much more closer (these are measurable facts), but you have the same in other racing series…

          Keeping the focus on F1, it is another example of a rule to “artificially” induce something does not work very well in F1, sometimes only works in the first year.

          BTW, getting rid of all the sensors can be a good thing and you don’t even need the designed-to-degrade tires, IMO.

        2. I’d be in favour of a maximum sensor limit (the minimum needed to race provided as a “spec” set, plus some extra to allow teams to choose a few of their own variables to monitor) with the understanding that attempts to monitor anything and everything electronically would lead to the sensor count being reduced to strict minimum.

  12. I’d be glad to see the back of him but wasn’t the last news piece about Maldonado that his sponsor money had been paid in advance which was why Lotus were so quick to sign him before the Renault deal?

  13. I kinda like having Maldonado around. His complete unpredictability makes some of the more mundane races interesting.
    Besides after Renaults complete lack of effort last year, they deserve him.

  14. And the qualifying lap records will still not be broken anyway.

    The aim of these rules has been to reduce lap times, but F1 is a sport that loves development, so lap times will naturally go down anyway. I’m wondering if there is any need at all for the proposed changes in the rules, why not wait and see how much development has been carried out over the break to see if there is actually a need for change?
    Mercedes dominated the last two seasons, and dominated 2015 more than 2014. For F1 to remain credible they, and all the other teams, should be working hard to produce the best car they can within the current rules. So we can expect lower lap times this year than last year.
    I think the “change in rules to reduce lap times” is the wrong aim. The better aim is to see if there is equality between the teams, and the best ways to ensure that is stable rules, because teams should be able to catch Mercedes.
    The question then is has the rate of developing new technology become so fast that the gap Mercedes had over everyone else increased by an even bigger margin than they had last year?

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