Maldonado eyes 2017 race seat

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In the round-up: Pastor Maldonado is seeking a return to racing in F1 for next season.

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Was Daniel Ricciardo right to publicly vent his frustrations with his team after the Monaco Grand Prix? @ducpham2708 isn’t so sure…

Also, if Ricciardo won today, it would’ve been thanks to the engineers at Red Bull who made such an amazing chassis, his team. He didn’t build his own car and come here to race.

The engineers don’t complain when drivers crash out on track, ruining months and years of their hardwork in the factory. So drivers shouldn’t complain the way Ricciardo is complaining when their teams make mistakes either.

The drivers are part of the teams.

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On this day in F1

Marc Surer’s F1 career was ended by a dreadful crash in the Hessen Rally on this day 30 years ago. It also claimed the life of his co-driver Michel Wyder who was trapped in the burning car.

Surer was thrown clear when he crashed his Ford RS200. He suffered a pelvis fractures, 11 broken bones in his legs and second-degree burns, particularly to his right wrist. The Arrows driver spent two weeks in a coma and required skin grafts and a total of 41 blood transfusions during his recovery.

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Will Wood
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86 comments on “Maldonado eyes 2017 race seat”

  1. I don’t understand, if they had the softs ready, why did they risk changing them for the super softs when they had so little time? Sounds like a seriously clumsy bit of planning to me.

    1. @strontium, a communication failure I guess, and the tragedy was compounded by the fact that it didn’t matter which tyre went on, all 3 compounds went the distance and all 3 compounds set fastest lap of the race at 1 point or the other, the only thing that mattered was being ahead.

      1. @strontium @hohum Absolutely agree that it was very poor decision making. But that’s what Monaco does: it’s a very short lap, so time for reactive decision-making is very compressed. For both drivers and pit wall, there’s little margin for error, and absolutely no chance to recover from one. To me, this was a case of RB losing their nerve under pressure, second-guessing themselves when sticking with their own plan would have worked out just fine– “over-thinking it.” The points you both made are correct– changing plans at the last second invites errors, in fact it begs for them, and given that in Monaco track position is everything, it made absolutely no difference whether softs or supersofts were put on Ric’s car. A case study in not trusting your own planning.

  2. You are always a team player, but sometimes you just cannot hide your emotions. I don’t think it’s wrong to do it.

    The drivers are part of the team, obviously, and they always apologise to the team when they get it wrong. But they are also there to win, and when the win doesn’t happen they get upset, specially at a place like this where the driver has so much influence in the result.

    He had the win right there in front of him. They also work very hard to be ready, and after all they are the ones driving the car. Without them the car is going no where, just like the driver is going no where with a bad car.

    Ricciardo is quite a character, and he always shows himself as a very lovable and happy guy… specially with that smile. Today, he has all the right reasons to look upset.

    1. Agreed, we all saw how close the drivers were to disaster from the slightest miss-step, how hard mentally must it have been to make that gap, for 2 hours all the pitcrew had to do was get 3 pitstops right while Dan had to get every corner on every lap right. What was he supposed to say when questioned, would we believe him if said “Hey, that was fun let’s do it again some time” ? “There’s nothing you can say that will make it better, save it (for later)” is, I think, a pretty mild and polite response under the circumstances, and of course when asked to comment he could not gloss over it nor allow the press to speculate that he had panicked and come in before he should have.

    2. At least Rosberg behaved way better than Nasr…

      1. That’s why Rosberg isn’t an world champion.

        1. Kevin Queally
          30th May 2016, 15:21

          Harsh, but true

    3. My main issue with gis attitude is that Ricciardo isn’t only like that just after a bad result, but he keeps on complaining for several weeks. From Thursday on I’ve heard him complain about how his team lost him the race in Spain.

      Blaming the team after after a bad result is understandable, but I’m willing to bet that he will not have put this behind him when Canada comes around. He will keep on saying over and over again how “the team screwed me over twice” and keep on flirting openly with other teams when asked where he will be next year.

      Such an attitude is bad for the whole team and won’t help him forward.

      1. @paeschli I agree. Daniel hasn’t shown his best side through this period of unlucky breaks. Lewis took things rather well on the other side Lewis was rather lucky to not suffer any issues come race day. I think he’s right to be mad, and blame the team, it’s not like he has fault RB in any way. Ricciardo sounds as if he feels under-appreciated, I think everyone knows how good he is even though the results don’t tell much and you only get so many chances of winning a race as such as Monaco, just look at Lewis, it’s only his 2nd victory there. Daniel should keep his ambition but avoid getting blinded by it, it’s a fine balance, I wonder if someone is poking Ricciardo, perhaps someone is trying to poach him from RB. Everyone would rather see a happier Danny Ric, it’s what has gotten him where he is, it would be better for him to keep looking things on the bright side, or else no one will be able to bear with him and so, you might get unloaded to DTM.

      2. Don’t forget that we’re only hearing soundbites that were most likely in answer to questions specifically about the event. I can’t imagine he’s gone out of his way to find a journalist to vent at.

  3. I don’t like Ricciardo’s conduct. He has a sense of entitlement that wasn’t there during his awesome 2014 campaign. Back then he was just happy and grateful for the opportunity he was presented with and made the most of it.

    Also, it is worth remembering that he lucked into the Hungary win, and Spa was a similar story to the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel was given the inferior strategy that day, and Ricciardo won. It’s racing and things can’t always go your way. Shake it off and move on. Attacking your team in public is not going to help in any way.

    It would be wise for him to calm down, look at the bigger picture, keep driving well and the results will come.

    1. I’d be interested to see how you reacted to losing the Monaco GP because someone left the tyres out the back of the garage.

      How have any of his remarks relayed a sense of entitlement? If you listen to his quotes you can tell he’s absolutely gutted to have lost one of the most coveted trophies in motorsport. He feels ‘screwed’ after a extremely frustrating year last year he finally has the opportunity to stand atop the podium and he’s taken down by his own team. I’m sure he’s well aware of the work the team puts in to get him to that position, but if they undo it all at the final hurdle what’s the point.

      I don’t want to follow a driver who just laughs off everything, I’d much rather see some bite.
      He’s proven he’s capable of race wins, now he wants the next prize, a WDC, and as anyone would, will show frustration when incidents that are out of his control hamper that.

      It’s pretty easy as an arm chair viewer to say shake it off and move on, but your criticising this guy for making comments moments after the loss. Maybe give him till the next GP to ‘shake if off’.

      Finally, Red Bull have been leading by example with mouthing off in the press, so why would you expect anything other than that from one of their own?

      1. He clearly felt entitled to win the Spanish GP.

        When Ricciardo won Canada in 2014, Vettel was happy for him, even though Vettel received a worse strategy than Ricciardo.

        When Verstappen won in Spain this year, all Ricciardo did was complain how the team screwed him over.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th May 2016, 4:07

      @v_char this is all caused by Verstappen joining and winning on his maiden race with Red Bull while Ricciardo got the stick… There’s a lot of precedent and he’s witnessed first hand Red Bull give him equal attention as a 4 time WDC which in my book was preposterous. You want loyalty from your drivers, you have to be equally loyal…

      1. On top of that Dan is probably seeing or sensing more behind-the-scenes politics. When Kvyat got replaced he implied he learned a lot about Red Bull from that Dr. Marko call. Perhaps Dan is now learning first-hand about that too. He is no longer considered the top driver, and is thus replaceable second fiddle. Which, if true, is quite frankly preposterous. Dan is definitely one of the best drivers on the grid, and Max has yet a lot to learn. But it looks like Marko with his ruthless style has more influence over the overall team politics than anyone imagined.

    3. Vettel wasn’t even close to Ricciardo in Spa 2014 once DR overtook him.

      1. You are correct, I meant Canada 2014, not Spa 2014. My mistake.

    4. Yes V, he should follow the example of his team principal and stop blaming under-performing partners bef o r e … errh, oh , forget it.

    5. Don’t know what entitlement you’re referring to, please explain. As for his race wins you mentioned, only lucky part was the safety car timing in Hungary 2014, still had to pass the fastest car on the grid by some margin and alonso, yes his tires were fresher but Hamilton could’ve also pitted for fresh tires and made up the time like Rosberg did in that race. Belgium 2014 again only luck was the merc tangle, at the time he was behind alonso and Vettel, overtook alonso, then Vettel made a mistake and at the time both were on the same strategy, ricciardo continued to pull a gap until red bull swapped Vettels strategy after he couldn’t match ricciardos lap time and was losing time to car behind. None of that’s a shot at you btw. I agree and said the exact same as you did in your last sentence, calm down, reset and regroup and take it one race at a time, onto Montreal.

      1. He’s human, he was mad his team let him down twice in a row, he’ll be alright by this morning.

      2. I rate Ricciardo very highly, and the fact that fortunate circumstances allowed him to score 2 of his 3 career victories o far, takes absolutely nothing away from the great job he did on those occasions and his quality as a driver.

        But in terms of what I meant by entitlement, the Spanish Grand prix this year is a good example. Just as he has won in the past due to a better pitstop strategy (Canada 2014), it so happened that he lost out that time. Nobody owes you anything and no matter how good a job you do, success is not guaranteed. Accept the gifts of luck graciously, and don’t forget about the times you got lucky when your own luck runs out occassionaly.

        And regarding Monaco.. The mechanics give their best, usually do an awesome job and they are part of the team, they deserve some solidarity from their coworkers when something goes wrong on their end. The driver is not the only one entitled to mistakes. Saying you were “screwed” by your own team rings very badly and will only put more pressure on the mechanics. The word “screwed” will further fuel the fire of the idiotic tin foil hat brigade.

        1. His pit wall has given Hamilton, the favourite, who’s behind him, about 30 WDC points in two races. They need a kick up the ass.
          I too think he should regain his usual demeanour but he isn’t paid to smile. He was a grumpy fart all week in Monaco and I’ve never seen him drive better.

    6. Also, these questions were put to him immediately after the race. He had no time to calm down, relax… Were you this critical of Hamilton on Saturday? He was grumpy and he had only himself to blame for not getting pole. Ricciardo had every right to be upset, he was there when told to be.

    7. Have we already forgotten Hamilton’s behaviour at the same race last year? At least Ricciardo didn’t deliberately ram the 2nd place marker, then threaten not to attend the podium at all…

      1. @eurobrun But Hamilton didn’t openly berating his team, which is what many people criticize Ricciardo for. No one ever asked for him to pretend everything is fine and keep smiling as nothing happened, but you should leave the blaming game, especially if its about your team, in private place.

    8. Psychologically, Ricciardo must have changed after 2014- winning F1 GP’s I imagine does that often to drivers who achieve such a feat.

  4. I have to disagree with @ducpham2708.

    While admittedly Spain was somewhat of a gamble that didn’t work, this was a pure team error, and I can completely understand his feelings of effectively having been robbed of two race wins in a row. The point is valid in some situations however – were it Maldonado for example – but the last time Ricciardo crashed out of a race was the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix, back when he was was with Toro Rosso. I think he has every right to be unhappy.

    1. +1

  5. Geoff Arnold
    30th May 2016, 3:18

    Putting together the first and fifth stories, perhaps Sauber should grab Maldonado.

    I asked my partner, Kate, what she thought of the idea, and… well, let’s just say that I’ve never heard so many different ways of saying “Never Maldonado”!

    1. With all the oil and Venezuelan crisis going I doubt Maldonado would have the cash required to grab a backmarker seat, there are a lot of better guys with deeper pockets out there.

      and yes, never maldonado!

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    30th May 2016, 3:19

    Did anyone else catch Maldonado trying to say “Hi” and congratulate Lewis as SkyF1 were walking/talking with Hamilton after the race?

    Felt sorry for the guy as Lewis didn’t see him.


    1. @tophercheese21
      Thank you so much for posting that, totally missed it…!

    2. haha May be he wanted to say hey the other seat (nico) get the team to sign me up then i’ll make you champion(ie by crashing into title rivals). No pastor actually is a nice guy but erratic in car.

    3. Sorry, but Pastor is no Bieber. Pastor is only a car wreck compared to the train wreck that is Bieber.

    4. @tophercheese21 Thank you for posting that!

      Unlucky timing. I think he was feeling a little sheepish, because he didn’t say anything, and walked away pretty briskly– at other points other people called out to Lewis and he interrupted what he was saying to respond.

      Yeah, feel a little sorry for the guy, being an ex-F1 driver and all. That’s the kind of stuff that always seems to happen to me any time I get the rare chance to get close to one of my heroes– and I’m nobody!

  7. Maldonado “Buys” 2017 Race Seat

    1. Would there be space for Maldonado as we already have Kvyat leading the F1 bumper car show?

  8. Possestion is 9/10 of the law, and he never had the win in hand…. nothing can be taken for granted. Nobody is owed anything, pole doesnt promise you a win…

    COTD explains it all… quite well. On the last 5-10 laps, I felt bad for him. After a couple minutes of watching him sulk around the podium, I felt grateful to Lewis for knocking that smile off his face!!

    1. COTD really shouldn’t be the COTD… So your happy watching others misfortunes… Don’t know what to say if you think like that… Ironic that it’s Lewis your grateful to for making someone ‘sulk’, ever seen Hamiltons attitude with anything other than pole or a win (looks at qualifying)… Well the smile was still there on the podium interview and paddock interview so didn’t last long. Regardless of all that, it’s a tough loss and he showed raw emotion for the obvious pain he was feeling, I wouldn’t expect anyone who didn’t win a race in similar circumstances to be anything other than what he showed (Monaco 2015). Onto Montreal.

    2. To use your own metaphor, he had possession (and would have retained it comfortably), only to then lose it through no fault of his own. It always makes me smile when people criticise others for being upset at losing. No one likes losing, least of all elite sportsman whose whole world revolves around them trying to show that they are the best.

  9. Ricciardo’s situation reminds me so much of Hamilton in 2012. The team doing operational errors only on his side of the garage. The nagging feeling that the team bosses prefer the guy on the other side of the garage. Contract of the driver expiring (or at least has exit clauses for Ricciardo). Very well reputed driver who any team would be glad to pick up.
    The similarities are just too many. But will that mean Ricciardo also quits his team in search of a new pasture? I think he is definitely thinking about it. As a Ferrari fan, I hope he moves there.

    1. I would love to see that happen, but Vettel and Ricciardo at Ferrari? I’m not sure how healthy that would be. Could go either way.

    2. I thought the same about Lewis before his win in Monaco. Lewis looks like he tried too hard blaming the team to break performance clause in his contract to start new career. If Lewis want a career in entertainment business there is no better momentum than now.

      1. @ruliemaulana What possible reason Hamilton want to break contract when he still have the most dominating car this year? Also as far as I remember, he actually trying too hard to deny any conspiracy theory about Mercedes sabotaging him, which if he really want to get out, is the easiest way to force Mercedes to release him.

  10. What if Ricciardo got the soft tyres? He could be slightly slower than Hamilton, but he would have track position.

    1. Both Vettel and Perez set fastest lap otr (so far) on softs, it didn’t matter what tyre they had in those conditions.

    2. he would have gotten heat into them far better after the stop AND after the VSC periods, so he might even have had a better chance of it in the end @daniel-chico!

  11. And for how many laps was the team asking to Nasr let Ericsson pass?

  12. Maldonado: “I would like a good car”. Oh-kay than. (So do I).

  13. I found it difficult to understand the outpouring yesterday of vitriol on the person of Justin Bieber who happened to turn up in Monaco to support his friend Lewis Hamilton. Could it be immense sadness and frustrations that make people lash out at others and in this case a young man who has accomplished so much in such a short time in his life? Could it also be uncontrollable jealousy?
    Justin Bieber has an army of fans. His songs are played back to back on radio and TV stations the world over and is one of the very few artistes whose music videos have billions of views on Youtube.
    For a sport that I believe needs every publicity it can get and in dire need of a generation of new fans, the appearance of such people as Bieber and their being well presented on our screens is something fans should welcome rather than condemn.
    For those who ridiculed the young man yesterday, I ask you to have a look at the number of retweets that tweet of his alone garnered and after that please tell F1 fans what you have done for the progress of the sport you claim to love apart from abusing and lashing out at people who have achieved so much in the course of their lives even when their association or actions are beneficial to the sport.

    1. So true, i am not a beliber but isn’t it clear Ham is using Beibs, good on him i say.

      1. Lol, trying to rub off some of his lady catchimg talent? Maybe they should give him P1 seat in exchange for one duet song on his concert.

    2. I found it as discordant and unwelcome as when they jam Putin into the green room. It’s a podium, at Monaco. Is a Kardashian going to pull rabbit ears behind them next race?

  14. I wonder how Pastor is going to land a drive with anyone. PDVSA havent got any money, they havent been paying their contractors, which is why theyre all pulling out.

    I dont think any team principal in the paddock will hire Pastor on his ability alone.

    Sorry Pastor, you’re just not good enough.

    1. Maybe he can bring the budget to replace Haryanto at Manor in the latter 3rd of this season @jaymenon10. Not as much money (but where would even that come from, as you mention PDVSA are in no position to pay for it) as a complete yearly budget, and Rio seems still to be working towards finding the money to do the full season.

      I guess he can always talk, do the rounds, be in contact. Or maybe land a 3rd driver role or something to keep connected.

    2. @jaymenon10, I have to wonder whether Renault might have been better off if they had kept him instead of going for Palmer, because I don’t feel that Palmer has shown himself as being any more adept than Maldonado. In fact, it has to be said that both Renault drivers were pretty poor this weekend – Palmer wrote his car off fairly comprehensively, whilst Magnussen shunted the barriers a fair bit himself.

  15. I’m sure Sauber would be happy to sign Maldonado up. Even if his money doesn’t come through, one of the many other drivers they’ll sign money will do.

  16. MG421982 (@)
    30th May 2016, 5:56

    Way to go Maldonado! Crashstappen must have reminded him of the old days, things got emotional… so he decided to try make a comeback.

    1. More like “Monacocrashstappen”. Verstappen’s accident-prone record at Monaco may be simply down to his age; but there were a number of other drivers (Vettel) who went off-line at that same corner.

  17. Maldonado please don’t, races are far more exciting without you and Venezuela really need that money.

  18. why spoil the indy 500 result. normallly its in the weekend wrap uo. not cool. i know it was an f1 driver but still quite inconsiderate.

    1. If you don’t want motor racing news stay off motor racing websites.

    2. haha burn!

  19. Please dont bring Maldonado back, it was the best thing that happened to F1 that he went away.
    Its so sad to see so many teams desperate for money that they will deliberatelly hire drivers that clealry dont have what it takes only so they can pay.
    Ricciardo shouldnt ve vent his frustration as he did. It shows the maturity of Lewis Hamilton next to him, who always made sure that he is with his team of hard working guys. Cmon Daniel, you can do better than that.

  20. Sorry Pato, we have aleeady replaced you wih kvyat

    1. Pastor

  21. Couldn’t agree less with COTD. Ricciardo was faultless the whole weekend but the team threw away the race win, of course he’s going to be furious about it.

    1. +1

  22. Hulk won the Le Mans, now Rossi pulls off a win in Indy 500 as a rookie!

    Of course, both were a part of huge team effort. Yet, that should gives us some level of confidence about the current generation of F1 drivers. They may not be able to race in multiple categories like the older generation, but they surely are the cream of the crop.

    [Don’t want to mention about the pay-drivers here.]

    1. Good point, but even pay drivers like Haryanto are not getting destroyed by their teammates.

      Who are currently pay drivers in F1?

      Sauber boys, Rio, Palmer? That is about it right? Not many.

      Maldonado is quite decent, except crashing every second race.

      If sauber were to get a good carbon fibre sponsor, and replace one driver with Pastor? That would be quite good.

      1. You’re right, this year’s driver lineup appears the most competent in last few years.

        Palmer is disappointingly average. I knew he wasn’t one of the bests of gp2 graduates, but surely, he should be performing better.

        Maldonado joining seems like a bad omen. Whichever team signs him up, can’t be doing well to survive.

        1. Honestly Wherlein is not impressing much. Might be a function of the car. But either he is slow or Haryanto is really fast.

        2. Palmer looks like a slow learner type. He can probably become good but he needs time and work. Unfortunately for him F1 isn’t known to give that to most.

  23. COTD is way off. Just look at Sauber this weekend, are their engineers supposed to be happy that their drivers stupidly threw away all their hard work? Of course not: the drivers should and are being publicly called out for acting in a manner that has no place in F1. When a race-leading driver is left in the pits while the team figures out where the tyres are there’s nothing wrong with the driver calling them out on that.

    It gets even worse in my mind considering that it’s Red Bull we’re talking about. Throughout their F1 history they’ve been absolutely ruthless towards their drivers. No place for loyalty at all, and if you’re not meeting their expectations, kiss your F1 career goodbye (see almost every RB/TR driver ever). Is it right for them to now expect more “team” loyalty from Ric? Absolutely not. Spain was a toss-up, but he’s entirely in the right to call the team out for Monaco. If one of their drivers was making these blunders, he’d be turfed (or demoted). I don’t know if there’s a spot available for him anywhere, not sure how happy Seb would be to see him again and it sounds like Nico is staying put, but he may want to start considering his options, especially if Verstappen has the kind of career we’re all expecting from him.

  24. As for CotD. I disagree. He was clearly let down by the team. Unacceptable.

    Its not like he said Ferrari engine is #### to Enzo Ferrari.

    After a weekend of massive effort, 0 mistakes then doing race so well. He deserves to criticize the mistake team did. Granted it is a team sport, they certainly did loose toggether, but proportionally, he keept it toggethet for 2 hours and they failed for 13.6 seconds.

    It happens, it happens to Williqms, it happens to Mercedes it happens to Ferrari.

    They will learn from it and Riciardo maybe will never win Monaco again.

  25. The only way Crashtor Maldonado will get an F1 seat is if he buys his way into a team, like he did before. There don’t seem to be too many people writing about that- which confirms the much accepted opinion: he’s simply not good enough. He was thoroughly trounced by Grosjean last year and retired so many times that it almost seemed as if the team were deliberately sabotaging his car. Of course- Maldonado probably came up
    with pathetic excuses like that.

  26. Michael Brown (@)
    30th May 2016, 17:07

    Maybe Sauber can take on Maldonado and keep their streak of useless pay drivers alive.

  27. I didn’t really need to see more Bieber.

  28. Fresh news guys.. STR to have renault engines next year.. Maybe Rolex branded?

    Other than that, F1 silly season is underway. Riciardo tipped to leave RBR,.. Like i said silly.

    Anything else new and not mentioned?

  29. Gotta admit I miss Maldonado. There was always that “what will he do today?” feeling with him on the track.

  30. Maldonado again?????

    then we will have Ericsson, Kvyat, Maldonado, Grosjean, Gutierrez and Hamilton on the grid?
    geez that will be thrilling!

  31. COTD ?
    Really ?


    When was the last time an engineer was interviewed after a driver crashed out ?

    How do you know they don’t complain about their drivers ?

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