Maldonado set to sign for Lotus this week and fire up driver market 26 November, 2013 Pastor Maldonado key to final driver movements Pastor Maldonado is expected to sign for Lotus this week and fire up the drivers’ market for the final places on the grid for the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship season. This became clear in the aftermath of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix when the moody Venezuelan, who is leaving Williams, admitted that he was in advanced talks with Lotus and Sauber. According to seasoned observers in the paddock, negotiations between Maldonado and Lotus intensified at Interlagos because the team conceded that it could no longer wait to complete a long-promised investment deal with the Quantum Motorsports consortium. Maldonado has sponsorship estimated to be worth more than 35 million euros ($47 million) that he can offer to his next team. Pastor Maldonado flies over Romain Grosjean during the 2010 Monza GP2 race He said: “We are quite close. We have been working very hard since many months ago and now we are just waiting for confirmation – all the stuff that you need to do with contracts. “But until you sign you never know. I prefer to sign and to be 100 per cent sure before we make any announcement.” If Maldonado is confirmed at Lotus, he is expected to partner Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who is likely to retain his seat after an impressive second half to the 2013 season. That, in turn, will mean there is no room at Lotus for German Nico Hulkenberg, the hottest property in the market in terms of talent and tipped to join Ferrari in 2015. Romain Grosjean flies over Pastor Maldonado during the 2012 Belgian GP He is expected to switch to Force India where his likely teammate in an all-new line-up for 2014 may be Mexican Sergio Perez, who has left McLaren after one year, but with his own sponsorship package to offer a new team. That would mean German Adrian Sutil leaving Force India, probably for Sauber to partner either current incumbent, Mexican Esteban Gutierrez or Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin, who may be used as a reserve driver. All this would also leave Marussia and Caterham with the only remaining vacancies and plenty of time to consider their options. (AFP) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsLotus would prefer Hulkenberg over Maldonado for 2014Hulkenberg in frame for 2014 race seat at Lotus, Force India or SauberRaikkonen to Sauber and Hulkenberg to Lotus for Austin?Lotus prospective investor Quantum wants Hulkenberg for 2014Has Maldonado secured Lotus drive at expense of Hulkenberg?Lotus boss wants Hulkenberg but admits talks with Maldonado for 2014Grosjean: Hulkenberg would be an ideal teammateGrosjean looks certain for Lotus in 2014 as Hulkenberg waitsHulkenberg has nothing to report on Lotus futureBoullier: Hulkenberg is our choice, we would love to sign him Spartacus Eewww… Yukksss!!! bamza remember when it was talent not muppets with money Boycottthebull The fans are going to desert Lotus in droves if they sign this clown. His money wont mean a thing if there is no support there to read the sponsors labels. Junior Johnson Please guys give congratulations and praise to Mr Maldonado.He deserved to ride for this team bit now this team must proof that they deserve to have him ride for them by building him the best car.Mr Maldonado himself even said he would have been the champion of the world this year if he was riding a red bull.That shows how good he reely is prolly even better than Vettle.Please spratacus do not say yuks and terribil things like that you are just jellis of him and because he rides better and is very hansom.We must praise Mr Maldonado for coming to save this team with his money and talent Tamburello_1994 Second scariest guy on the grid. ( Adrian Sutil #1 by a mile ) Liam A deal with the devil… McLarenfan Lotus are putting all their eggs in 1 basket asking Romain Grosjean to carry this brain dead moron and score all the points for the drivers and constructors while Psychonardo crashes and gets red mist oh and crashes. the fan are lotus seeing those photos of grosjean and maldonado killing each other? well at least we dont have to worry about lotus fighting for the championship anymore. matthew If lotus signs him, they won’t even reach the top 5 in 14. LotusFan How sad is this? The 4th best team cannot find an investor of note. Well that is the great sport of F1 that Bernie has built. Nobody other than CVC and the old man make money in F1 sebolonso Crashdonado is bone headed animal. You can see it in the look off his eyes, that iq-level is smaller than mediocer shoe number. On the other hand Crashdonado, Lopez and this Quantum guy deserve each other. dcloudy777 Wow… losing one of the best drivers on the grid and replacing him with quite possibly the worst. Lotus has gone completely mad. I wish they would have gone after Perez. He’s got huge sponsor money too, but at least he can drive a bit. Garth @Junior Johnson you must be on the same stuff as Crashtor and he is in urgent need of surgery to remove his head from his bum, that is how he is always crashing and spewing the brown stuff. This is Lotus in desperation, they obviously haven’t factored in the cost of the crash damage he will cause them which will be at least 10 times more than the sponsorship he brings. He causes chaos with a slow car in a quick one he will render the company bankrupt Red Bull Cheats So after all this Quantum BS Lotus finally worked out that the guy is a crook! And they are supposed to be wise investment bankers at Geni Capital. Haaa. ZombieJebus I’m really looking forward to Pasta joining the so called “Lotus” team. RoGro has done enough this season to earn my respect and I look forward to cheering him on against the highly dellusional and often dangerous Maldonado. And with Kimi gone I hope to watch the flail around the midfield as well. Badman Jose “muppets with money” Tnx bamza, vey accurate discription. in F1 money rules..What we have is about eight truly talent drivers the rest just supporting cast. Lotus missed the call with Perez. The neat Mexican was the best avaliable driver. released by big mac. a really dumb move..Perez will be the best driver Fource India has ever had. Having the Hulk this should make for a strong driver duo ..V6 Turbo next, can’t wait.. Jose Guzzibob I don’t understand how they could go for Maldonado after the season he’s had and especially after his comments during practice for the race in Brazil. he’s all mouth and no discipline . PB Well the Quantum money is nowhere to be seen. Surprise, Surprise. Lotus had no choice but to look for a “Muppett” with financial backing. This speaks volumes about Mr Lopez. Ijaz just wanted to big note himself in the F1 circle – rub shoulders with Bernie Ukwhite What would think Maldo reading the comments… Let’s give this guy another chance, in the end he pays his place, how many do it Honest, I am curious if he can learn something from past experience, he may surprise many in a good way… He needs the same psi advice Romain has lately talked about making wonders to him. Maldo is definitely agressive, better control overall. HighLift Surprisingly I actually think that Maldonaldo will do pretty well in the Lotus providing its a quick car. He’s super aggressive yes but when he’s in a fast car, I think he’s capable of putting that car somewhere respectable on the position board. Hulk and Checo I think will partner well at Force India should that pairing happen. rvsp two nuclear missiles in Lotus Garth @ Ukwhite you must be as stupid as he is to write that, he is the most dangerous prat on the grid, paying drivers, that is why he is there, without his sponsorship he would never have been in F1 better control you said I wouldn’t trust him with a wheelbarrow. and yes please Crashtor Malfunction read all of these posts you have a huge fanbase. fapper Lotus should prepare lots of spare parts & spare cars should Pastor signs with them. gaoguowei he should brace himself…for many crashes. i’m sure his oil money will come in handy for paying spare cars. lotus could finish 5th next year, if they are lucky. most likely, they’ll finish 6th in wcc gaoguowei p.s: i have doubts about grosjean’s ability to develop a car David UK Motor insurance premiums are going down. When you need to renew, guys, insist on a reduction..I got £100 off mine after protesting. Oh, this won’t apply to Maldonado though. I’m surprised Lotus can afford to insure him at all! splat @GARTH: “CRASHTOR MALFUNCTION” LOL best name yet. Ukwhite @Garth: Humor is a dangerous thing for you… torque Best of luck Pastor, hopefully you get a decent car to show your speed and prove the doubters wrong like Romain has. Assuming you end up at lotus that is. tod Please can the Gods of F1 send Crashtor to a desert island. He would probably manage to crash that somehow tho. Is there no way we can escape seeing him & Lotus go ‘down the pan’ together? Maybe no bad thing tho!!! Garth @ Ukwhite, there must be something very badly wrong with you, and I thought it was just your simple mind, read my post again, it contains nothing but fact whereas yours is in fact is nonsence.