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Maldonado: Renault F1 chop 'bolt from the blue'

Pastor Maldonado says his axe from the Renault Sport F1 squad came as 'a bolt from the blue' and is keen to find a new race seat in 2016
Pastor Maldonado says his chop from the Renault Sport F1 squad came as 'a bolt from the blue' and is keen to find a new race seat to maintain his sharpness.

The former Lotus and Williams driver had been retained by Renault Sport F1 after the French manufacturer took over the Enstone-based squad during the winter.

However, after his main sponsor Venezuelan oil company PDVSA lost financial backing due to the economic and political climate in his home country Maldonado was duly replaced by Kevin Magnussen.

Maldonado says the series of events happened very quickly and despite his frustrations he fully accepts the decision and is now searching for a driver outside of F1 for 2016 while also signalling his intention to return to the sport next year.

"There was not a clear agreement and the situation developed in a few hours," he said to Autosprint. "I found myself without a sponsor, and the rest came as a result. It was a bolt from the blue."

"These are sensitive issues. I have yet to understand and think only to work for an alternative way to keep running. PDVSA has so far done a great job and the state programme gave support also to other drivers - such as EJ Viso and Samin Gómez – and in various sports."

Renault Sport F1 has set up an all-new driver line-up for 2016 with former McLaren driver Magnussen joining rookie Jolyon Palmer, while Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon takes up the role of third and reserve driver for the French manufacturer.

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February 14, 2016 7:05 PM

theeagle: I reckon even his sponsor (PDVSA) were getting tired of the endless crashes and maybe giving them a bad reputation. Question now what happens to the papers (contracts)? If Renault droped Maldonado then they are technically in breach of contract even if that contract required the substantial backing of PDVSA
Contract was only valid as long as PDVSA paid in advanced, missing deadlines voided the agreement.

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