Lotus F1 team have opted upon re-signing the excitable Pastor Maldonado for the 2015, it was revealed this weekend.
During Q&A on the team website on Friday evening, Lotus’s co-chairman and Team Principal, Gérard Lopez, revealed the first of his 2015 drivers.
“I don’t want to give too much away,” commented Lopez before revealing all. He continued: “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.”
This season has proved a tricky one for Lotus and especially Maldonado who has struggled in the unco-operative E22 machine. Maldonado’s teammate Romain Grosjean has scored eight points and resides 14th in the standings.
Speaking of their current issues and future potential, Lopez put on a brave face. “Despite the difficulties we’ve had so far this season, [Pastor] recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver. We will achieve great things together.”
The controversial Maldonado is supported by Venezuela’s state-owned natural gas and oil company, PDVSA. It is believed the association brings something in the region of USD $20-30 million per season.
There had also been a small rumour floating around this weekend that Formula Renault 3.5 driver Jazeman Jaafar may be in line for a seat with the Enstone squad, should they secure Mercedes engines for next season.
Jaafar, a Petronas protégé, has been competing with ISR Racing this season and has scored two podiums, leaving the Kuala Lumpur native 9th in the standings. Jaafar is also set to race in next weekend’s Total Spa 24 Hour Race with HTP Mercedes alongside reigning victors Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Gotz.
Where this leaves Grosjean is anyone’s guess, but considering Lotus’s form this season, it would surprise no one if he was found announcing a drive with another team rather soon.