Maldonado staying with Lotus next year

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado at Hockenheim

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado will stay with Lotus in 2015, despite the Formula 1 team suffering a terrible first half of the season, team principal Gerard Lopez said on Saturday.

Maldonado has yet to score a point this season as Lotus struggle with the new technical changes.

“I can confirm 50 percent of our driver line-up for 2015 as Pastor is with us for next year,” said Lopez on the Lotus F1 website.

“Despite the difficulties we’ve had so far this season, he recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver. We will achieve great things together,” he predicted.

Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus E22

Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus E22

Maldonado, 29, had been with Williams for three years when he switched to Lotus at the end of the 2013 season.

Ironically, Williams are one of the success stories of this season, in fourth place in the constructors’ championship table behind runaway leaders Mercedes with 103 points, while Lotus have a meagre eight points and lie eighth of the 11 teams racing.

In qualifying for Sunday’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Maldonado failed to make it out of the first session and will start 19th.

Maldonado will start his 67th grand prix in Germany, and has one victory to his name when he won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix for Williams at Circuit d Catalunya in Barcelona. (Reuters)