Maldonado’s miserable news
As the Venezuelan is shown the door, contracts are in question
While it is fantastic news that the talents of Kevin Magnussen will be seen in Formula One again after he has landed a deal with Renault, it has come at a price. This time, the man who will be left looking for work is Pastor Maldonado.
The Venezuelan has built quite a reputation over his five seasons in the top flight, and not all of it was positive. But, let’s not forget, he is a race winner and was capable of some strong performances. However, that counts for nothing when the money stops talking.
Maldonado did bring a pot of cash from his home country, and it was a fund that the Lotus team – always battling against financial struggles – was happy to accept. But now it seems that the team’s new owners Renault have hit financial speed bumps over the deal. Hence the decision to employ Magnussen.
It is hard not to feel sorry for Maldonado, but it is yet another example of the contracts that are drawn up in Formula One not being worth the paper they are written on.
Think back to the tug-of-love over the Sauber drive at the start of the 2015 season, when Marcus Ericsson and Giedo van der Garde both thought they had a valid contract to drive for the Swiss team. Plenty of legal wranglings followed and ultimately, van der Garde settled with the team but he still lost out on his race drive and a chance to further his career.
Everyone knows that F1 is a sport that craves funding and doesn’t operate without it, but it is a shame that some decent principles and morals sometimes take second place to that. Matt James, Deputy Editor