After weeks of speculation following Kimi Raikkonen‘s announcement of his move to Ferrari, Lotus have finally confirmed the driver who will be replacing the “Iceman”. Pastor Maldonado was confirmed last week as the driver who will be partnering Romain Grosjean at Lotus for the 2014 season.
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 28-year-old Venezuelan began his career in F1 with Williams in 2011 and following a third season with Williams, he has now moved to Lotus for the upcoming season. A victory at the Spanish GP in 2012 was the high point of his time at Williams followed by a disappointing 2013 season in which his highest finish was a paltry 10th place at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Maldonado made an audacious claim earlier in the month that his contributions to the team outweighed what the team did for him. His comments would have caused quite a stir at Williams, though Maldonado would be least concerned having grabbed the driver’s seat at a team that finished fourth this season. Lotus in the meanwhile would secretly be delighted at having recruited a driver who brings considerable financial backing.
It remains to be seen however, if Maldonado can back his claims with consistent performances.