Pastor Maldonado has confirmed this afternoon that he will not be racing in Formula One next year as Renault prepares to announce Kevin Magnussen as his replacement.
Maldonado’s position at Renault had been in doubt since the start of the year after late payments from his sponsor PDVSA, which has been hit hard by a global decline in oil prices. On Monday he confirmed he would not be driving in 2016 in a Twitter message to his fans as follows:-
‘Today with the utmost humility I inform you that I will not be present on the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season. Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honoured by the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance.
‘I’m very thankful to God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and everybody who has helped me realise this dream of representing Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport.’
Maldonado signed a contract to drive for the team last September, but that was before the then struggling Lotus outfit was taken over by Renault. Renault has now lined up Magnussen as Maldonado’s replacement, with the Dane set to be announced as a Renault works driver alongside Jolyon Palmer at a team media event in Paris on Wednesday.
But this news today about Maldonado is very much welcomed by many in the paddock. As I have argued previously, Maldonado does not deserve to be in F1 and has not demonstrated why he has been signed for the Lotus/Renault team based on his ‘talent’ rather than the money he brings with him and in my opinion, he was right to be shown the door and replaced by a driver who can deliver the results that Renault need on the track.
Let me expand on this further if I may. Many would say that to win a Grand Prix is an achievement and it is rightly so. But has he been able to build on this? No, he has not. If anything, he has shown that he cannot extract pace and performances from the car to even get near to achieving another win in the sport or scoring points for that matter on a regular and consistent basis.
Last season has saw Lotus forced to play catch up ever even though they have switched to Mercedes power. But they have been able score points last season compared to the 2014 season, but still not enough to merit that seat at all.Yes, Lotus last season may not have given him the car to do so and prove that he is worthy of the Renault seat this season. In my eyes, we will never be worthy of that seat he held for so long.
He is just not talented enough to be in the sport; pure and simple and I just cannot understand why Lotus did not see this fact sooner. But if he is as talented as Renault believed and also when Lotus did too, that wouldn’t stop him trying to achieve this or even attempt to try and achieve this weekend in and out. But he doesn’t; all he does is crack under pressure and show why he is not the driver many proclaim that he is.
And as for his career in Formula One, Maldonado has shown that he is clearly out of his depth. He has not performed well enough to justify his time in the sport, has failed to deliver on a regular basis, been outqualifed by his ex team mates Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean as you would expect and I believe the only reason he was there is to provide money for the teams he drove for and not because of his talent.
There is no denying that Lotus especially experienced money troubles in the past few seasons and the money that Maldonado brought to the team was very handy and helps them with their budget and without it, they wouldn’t be on the grid at that time and I do understand this.
But in conclusion, the news that Maldonado is exiting the sport this season for good will be welcomed some pundits and fans who truly believe just like I do that Maldonado does not and will ever deserve to be at a top team or even any team in Formula One. Maldonado has already proven in Formula One that he cannot deliver what is expected of him and also to a regular and consistent standard needed to score points, win races and also championships.
He cannot be relied upon to bring the car home in the points for a team, he cannot keep himself out of trouble on and off the track with his driving and his attitude and most importantly of all, one race win in Formula One and a few glimpses of some form of ‘talent’ does not guarantee success in the sport like he seems to think.
If anything, this only proves what I have been thinking all along; he is just not talented enough to be in Formula One at all. Maldonado is only here because of the money he brings to a team and not because of his talent. There are many young drivers waiting the chance such as Alex Lynn (even existing drivers) to secure a well-deserved drive in a team like Renault for example who have a proven track record of success in the sport or even in the junior formulae.
Maldonado may have limited success in the sport with a Grand Prix win under his belt, but the only thing he has achieved during his time in the sport is a level of performance that would be unacceptable to a team if he didn’t bring an extraordinary amount of cash with him.
So I pose the question everyone has been asking for years, why allow him to stay in the sport just because of his money? It should be based on talent, not money but that is the way Formula One operates at the moment sadly and this angers many pundits and fans with the direction teams have been making regarding driver choices over the last few seasons.
In my opinion, Maldonado is out of his depth in the sport, he is just not talented enough to be in the sport and I am glad that this fact has finally been accepted and have fully realised what he truly does bring to a team (or lack of) and as a result; the sport would be without him as a result of this.