Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado has been confirmed as a driver for the Lotus F1 Team. He will be racing alongside current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean in the 2014 Formula One World Championship. Lotus was left with an empty seat when its star driver Kimi Räikkönen ditched the Enstone squad to join Ferrari. Maldonado, meanwhile, was left without a team when his former employer Williams dumped him for former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

Maldonado was racing in GP2 when he got the chance to enter F1 in 2011 together with Williams. Since then, he has competed in 58 Grands Prix, earning himself pole position and victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.

Sponsored by Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas giant PDVSA, Maldonado will be able to bring millions in much-needed sponsorship dollars to the Lotus F1 Team. The Enstone squad’s financial struggles were made public during the past season when it was revealed it had failed to pay much of Räikkönen’s salary.

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

Joining him next year in Enstone will be Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who has been with the Lotus F1 Team since the start of the 2012 season. He also raced with the team during 2009, back when it was known as Renault F1. Grosjean is yet to win a race although he has made the podium nine times.


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