Pastor Maldonado will remain with the Lotus F1 team for the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season, it is has been announced.

The Venezuelan joined the Enstone-based squad at the start of the 2014 season on a multi-year deal, but while Maldonado was always contracted to remain in 2016, speculation over the team's future and a potential sale to Renault had put that contract in doubt.

However, following the 13th round of the 2015 season in Singapore, Lotus F1 has confirmed it has taken up its option on Maldonado in what will be his sixth year in the category.

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"It's great that the team can confirm my position as race driver for 2016," he said. "Obviously, there has been a lot of speculation about the future and whilst I have remained focused on my job on track it is also positive to know that my future is confirmed.

"This season has presented us with some challenges but the quality of the squad at Enstone is clear to see. I really feel part of the family at Enstone and I'm looking forward to building on the work done this year to deliver better results in 2016."

Though Maldonado has endured mixed fortunes since joining Lotus and has only scored on four occasions over the last three seasons, Lotus team principal Gerard Lopez is confident he has the speed to turn his form around.

"It's a positive for the future of Lotus F1 Team that we are able to confirm publically that Pastor remains with us for next season," he said. Everyone at Enstone will testify that Pastor is a terrific person to work with and we all know the performances he is capable of on track.

"Pastor joined us with a multi-year deal so this confirmation is a reiteration of our belief in him. We hope to be able to make further positive announcements regarding the team in the near future."

The deal could be seen as a precursor to the confirmation that Renault will indeed assume control of the Enstone-based team for the 2016 season, with many speculating the deal was confirmed behind closed doors this weekend.

However, in turn sources say it is almost certain that his current team-mate Romain Grosjean will switch to Haas for next year.

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Makes a mockery of F1 from an outsiders point of view... absolutely laughable decision.

Must have had a cast iron contract. Guess it's 30 million Renault don't have to find, can only be money reason, it's not talent.[\blockquote]

30million? I heard it was €50 million, PDVSA are flushed even at the current oil climate. It's a no brainer to sign him even though he crashed a lot. At least unlike majority of pay drivers, he did scored a pole position and won a race in an inferior car. The potential is there, he just need a better driver coach.