|Team||Lotus F1 Team|
|Date of Birth||09 Mar 1985|
|F1 Debut||Australia 2011 with Williams Cosworth|
Maldonado in Singapore:
2011 Williams: qualified 13th, finished 11th
2012 Williams: qualified 2nd, retired, hydraulic failure
2013 Williams: qualified 18th, finished 11th
When in 2012, Pastor Maldonado scored a dominant victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, it looked as if both the Venezuelan driver and the Williams team had turned a corner. There were hopes that the win signalled an end to a Williams winning drought that had lasted an agonisingly long seven and a half years. Sadly it was not to be.
The 2013 season proved a particularly tough one for Maldonado, as Williams’ form again slumped. He scored just a single championship point for a tenth place in Hungary and at the end of the year was determined to move to new pastures, which he has found at Lotus.
Many have suggested that his place in the Lotus team is as much down to financial backing from a portfolio of Venezuelan sponsors as it due to his pace. Certainly good fiscal management is as much a part of modern Formula OneTM as skills in the cockpit, but Maldonado’s past performance has proved plenty of natural talent and is a robust, if sometimes over-aggressive, racing style.
Maldonado first proved his pace when he won the 2010 GP2 championship, becoming the only driver to win six successive feature races in a single season. In his debut Formula One™ season he hustled an uncompetitive Williams car to three top ten qualifying positions. In 2012, as well as his Spanish victory, a typically brave assault on the tight Marina Bay Street Circuit yielded second place on the starting grid, sadly any chance to battle with Sebastian Vettel for victory was lost, due to a hydraulic failure.
Now, with a new team and new technologies to learn, there is little doubt that Maldonado will rise to the challenge. Certainly the potentially volatile combination of Maldonado and Grosjean at Lotus is one of the driver line-ups most worth watching during the 2014 season.