Formula One: Lotus confirm Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado Lotus

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Lotus have confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will replace the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen and partner Romain Grosjean in the Enstone team’s line-up for the 2014 season.

The Venezuelan had been heavily linked with the switch since Raikkonen announced his move to Ferrari, with Nico Hulkenberg also touted as a possible replacement. Maldonado revealed at the US GP that he had agreed to join a new team, but the driver and Lotus confirmed the news on Friday.

The 28-year-old had already announced his intentions to leave Williams after a difficult season for the team. He was outperformed by rookie Valtteri Bottas and even accused his team of sabotaging his car in Austin after another poor qualifying display.

Speaking about the move, Maldonado said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014. It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season.

“The regulations and cars will change significantly so it is a very good time for a fresh start. I can’t wait to be racing in black and gold.”

With Maldonado set for Lotus, Sauber’s Hulkenberg looks set to rejoin Force India. Maldonado’s switch may cause a domino effect with many drivers waiting to confirm their team ahead of next season.

After confirming the line-up for the next campaign, Lotus’s team principal, Eric Boullier, admitted he was excited ahead of next season.

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