Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier is backing Pastor Maldonado to deliver following news he will join the Enstone-based outfit next season and link up with Romain Grosjean.
Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg were both believed to be in the frame, and while the latter seemed the preferred option – at least based on his on-track form - in the end it appears other considerations have taken precedence, and most will say that is down to the financial backing Maldonado comes with from PDVSA.
“It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential – demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team – and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track,” Boullier stated, something of a u-turn given he had recommended Hulkenberg only last month
Meanwhile, Lotus also officially confirmed that Grosjean will stay on: “It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season [too],” Boullier added. “He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge.
“We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years and we are confident that we have a very good solution to all the challenges ahead. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”
“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season,” Grosjean continued. “This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available. I am very excited about next year's car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”