One of his many crashes – at Shanghai.
So – “Crashtor” Maldonado has lost his drive with Lotus, now owned by Renault – because his sponsorship money didn’t come through, underlining popular belief that he was only in F1 because of the sponsorship he brought with him.
This funding was from the Venezualen oil company, PDVSA, reputed to be around $50m a year……This was initially arranged by the Venezualen president, Hugo Chavez, since deceased.
Falling oil prices and the significant effect on the Venezualen economy resulted in the $50m annual sponsorship payment being several weeks late, resulting in the termination of his contract.
Fortunately, highly rated hot prospect Kevin Magnussen, son of the very popular 1970’s driver Jan Magnussen, was waiting in the wings and was in pole position to take the seat.
Kevin Magnussen, who came 2nd on his F1 debut with Mclaren
Unfortunately for good old Crashtor, which interestingly comes up as “Crasher” on the predictive inputting here – how apt ! (laughing here) – he is known mainly for incessantly crashing (the clue is in the nickname) together with his regular cash and grid penalties etc, rather than his 2012 Spanish GP win (his only one)
He’s lucky really, as he has walked away from F1 pretty much unscathed, whereas if he had been competing 30, 20 or even 10 years ago I might have been writing a warmly affectionate obituary for him here…..
Pastor, considering his future…..
At least he had a go I guess ! – Anyone with the “F1 dream” with connections like that would have taken an opportunity as significant as that, just as Pastor did…….