Maldonado refuses to budge on contract with Lotus


Pastor Maldonado would have us believe that he is not just a pay driver, but racing in Formula One on merit. “I have a sponsor, this is clear,” the Venezuelan explained to SKY F1. “I have a sponsor – which is not my sponsor, it is a team sponsor – Fernando has the same with Santander, maybe Blackberry for Hamilton.”

Yet Maldonado does not have the talent of his ex-team mate Valtteri Bottas and neither of his current partner Romain Grosjean. He has scored just 8 times in 80 GP races in his four and a bit seasons in Formula One.

Despite this we saw Jolyon Palmer replace Romain Grosjean in FP1 at both the Chinese and Bahrain GP weekends. “This is not ideal for the racing drivers as we lose an hour and a half of practice and we are not delighted to be giving up our ‘baby’,” commented Grosjean.

“But we have an economic reality today that means F1 is not easy. And the teams need to look at every possible solution to finance the budgets.”

Of course Pastor is not just known for being a pay driver, but for many on track indiscretions which have earned him the nick names, “Crash Kid”, Crashtor” and most recently following him rear ending Massa in Bahrain – “Mashtor”.

Yet Maldonado thinks his getting an underserved Bad Rep.

“So many drivers are doing something even worse than me,” Maldonado told Sky’s Mike Wise. “Don’t you think that’s unfair? How can you stop it or change it?” implores Pastor. Maldonado has now collected 8 of the 12 steward penalty points he needs to be haded down a one race ban.

Yet the amusement at Pastor’s expense continues unabated. There is a website which counts the number of days since Maldonado’s last crash. When the count is greater than 1, it concludes “the world is safe for another day”.

Crashtor is insisting that his 2015 contract means he cannot be asked to step aside for Jolyon Palmer in FP1, and so Romain Grosjean will be taking the hit each time Palmer gets behind the wheel.

Ironically this demonstrates as clearly as eggs are eggs – that Pastor is paying HUGE $$$ for his ride – to command such a clause – and the team agreed to it, daring not to upset him.


Bad Luck Brian



20 responses to “Maldonado refuses to budge on contract with Lotus

  1. Fine, is he is making sure is contract is adhered to. Whether he has bought the drive or not, its done and he is making sure it is seen through. From a personal point of view, he is doing the correct thing for him.

  2. As my lovely wife just pointed out to me, it makes perfect sense that they don’t take Pastor out for FP1 since he obviously needs more practice with the car.

  3. I think Angry Birds is worth every penny!
    He has given us many memorable moments in F1 and F1 is entertainment.
    Just like this site.

    The poor Venezulanos on the other hand might have something to say about the entertainment factor visa lack of toilet paper in stores…

    • The poor Venezulanos on the other hand might have something to say about the entertainment factor visa lack of toilet paper in stores…

      The poor Venezuelans are likely far, far, far, far, far more concerned about (and protesting in record #s in 2014) about the facts that gasoline worth $2.2 billion is stolen from the state and smuggled out the country each year, that over $1.1 billion was stolen just from Ferrominera, that $15 to 20 billion is swindled out of Cadivi each year (the government’s foreign-exchange regulator), and that 40% of the country’s basic commodities are smuggled into Colombia instead of going to the Venezuelan people.

      All of which is far more significant in the collapse of state services than the relative pittance of $$ that is legally and transparently spent on F1 sponsorship…

  4. can’t imagine Hamilton or Vettel giving up a FP1 session if asked nicely to do so.
    Maldonado made sure to have the FP1 situation written into his contract (as he did with Williams – Bruno had to go have coffee every time for Bottas to get up to speed). Non story for me.

    I would suggest Lotus asking a driver to roll back on his contractual rights should be the actual talking point. General question – how much is Palmer bringing to Lotus budget – haven’t seen it reported – whilst Davide Valsecchi may have looked pretty for PR purposes as the reigning GP2 champ he didn’t get a FP1 look in.

    • although I remember hearing Esteban ‘might’ get a run in FP1 for Mexico…so maybe Seb will volunteer for a siesta in exchange for a few pesos for the engine dept?

  5. Tonight’s historic race on SkyF1 is none other than Spain 2012…..

    what happened to that Pastor?

  6. Also, when Geido VdG was standing up for his contract trying to ensure it was upheld, I didn’t see anyone Geido-bashing. Just because it’s Maldonado…

    • @’headless’… Mmm… maybe true…

      No one’s bashing Pastor for this – it demonstrates the power he has over the team – which is exerted not because of superior skill – but by the $$$ he pays.

      • Pastor is painting himself in a corner with yet another team. He behaved horrendously with Williams, head-scratchingly accusing them of sabotaging his car. While Pastor’s antics weren’t much of an issue in a poor car (Williams 2013, Lotus 2014), now he is becoming a genuine liability with a good car that is capable of consistent point-finishes. Pastor may be on his way out of Lotus on terms similar to those with Williams a couple years back…

        • If Maldonado were matching his teammate Lotus could be sitting 4th instead of 6th in the championship. Makes you wonder if Lotus aren’t losing, between damage and constructor money, running him.

        • Both Williams and Lotus appreciated the fat checks they received from Maldonado’s sponsors. His decision to leave Williams was his own, and boy he lost that gamble big time…

  7. Reading the quotes attributed to Maldonado – the ones where he is attempting to draw a parallel between his career, and thus his presence in F1, and Alonso’s / Hamilton’s careers; as well as the ones where he is imploring us to see the grave injustice of him being unfairly targeted relative to his peers – made me randomly think of this quote…

    “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” Aldous Huxley

    F1 is not a place where delusion lasts long… One way, or another, Pastor will know the truth.

  8. This could be Pastor last year in F1. The way things are in Venezuela I do not think that wasting money on Pastor is PDVSA first priority. I do not know how long is the contract with Lotus but is cheaper to pay it off that continue with Pastor for another year. And Lotus is not going anywhere either.

    • Having won a GP, he probably has become a kind of a national sports icon by now. I doubt the state would dare to end the sponsorship

      • Right. God forbid that anyone in the english-language F1 blogosphere out to criticize Pastor by offering fake-sympathy to the Venezuelan people actually ask a representative sample of the Venezuelan people how they feel about PDVSA’s sponsoring one of their countrymen who is competing in a global sport.

  9. Will the outcome be another payout? If so, can Sauber survive? The team has just gotten anything going right on track.

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