Maldonado confirms Formula 1 exit

By on Monday, February 1, 2016
Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Pastor Maldonado has confirmed that he will not compete in Formula 1 in 2016, ending his five-year spell in the sport with Williams and Lotus.

Maldonado had been initially retained by Lotus for 2016 prior to Renault's takeover of the outfit, but political and economic unrest in his native Venezuela has led to sponsorship problems, amid speculation that Kevin Magnussen would replace him.

Maldonado confirmed on social media on Monday that he will not be present on the grid this season.

"As everyone knows in recent days there have been a number of rumours about my immediate future in Formula 1," he posted in a statement.

"Today, with the utmost humility, I inform you that I will not be present on the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season.

"Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honoured with the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance."

Renault is expected to announce the appointment of former McLaren racer Magnussen alongside rookie Jolyon Palmer during a press conference on Wednesday.

Maldonado graduated to Formula 1 with Williams in 2011, having claimed the GP2 title, and triumphed at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, causing one of the biggest shocks in the sport's history.

Maldonado spent a further season at Williams before moving to Lotus for 2014, where he achieved his highest championship placing of 14th last year.

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