Formula 1

Lotus confirm Pastor Maldonado for 2015

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Team Lotus F1 have announced that their driver Pastor Maldonado will continue to represent them for the 2015 campaign. 

It will mean a fifth consecutive year of Formula One racing for the Venezuelan after three years with Williams and this year with the Lotus team. 

Team Principal Gerrard Lopez told the Lotus official website: "I don’t want to give too much away, but as it’s half way through the season I can confirm 50% of our driver line-up for 2015 as Pastor is with us for next year.

"Despite the difficulties we’ve had so far this season, he recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver. We will achieve great things together."

Grosjean doubt

Though Lopez could not confirm if the future of Maldonado's team-mate Romain Grosjean had been resolved yet.

He said: "Romain is well aware of the prowess of Enstone after having finished on the podium for the past two years in one of our cars." 

Controversial decision

The news of Maldonado's re-signing will not necessarily have gone down well with too many supporters of Formula One and the Lotus team. The 29-year-old does not have the best reputation amongst drivers on the field and he is known for making calamitous errors.

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His most high profile error this season being the incident involving Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez where the collision sent the driver into a mid air spin. He also crashes whilst driving into the pit lane in free practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.

He now has four points on his super licence for driver mistakes and must be careful not to cause any more trouble. However, Maldonado's place on the grid is always likely to be secure due to the sponsorship which he brings with him to drive.

Paid driver

It has been reported that his partners support the team with up to £20m a season. For a team like Lotus who have suffered financial difficulties then they are always going to sacrifice having the best possible driver in order to be able to develop their car for the season.

It must be remembered though that Maldonado is a GP2 champion and Formula One race winner in his own right.

Financial struggles

It must also be taken into account that Lotus are struggling with their development this year and Maldonado's results have therefore been poor. His highest finish has been 12th place, therefore he is yet to contribute any points to Lotus' constructors' challenge. 

Lotus are eighth in the standings with just eight points. Those being supplied by Grosjean. It is a stark contrast to the 2013 campaign where Lotus had a race-winning car. They finished fourth in the constructors' championship with 315 points, comfortably ahead of McLaren and not too shy of Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen delivered a race win and six second place results while Grosjean secured six podium finishes himself.  And the Frenchman's drive next year is still in doubt. He will be looking to race in a more competitive car than this current Lotus, but who is to say that with Maldonado's sponsorship money they will not be a lot faster next season.Though it would not be a surprise to see him move on for 2015.

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