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Maldonado to race for Lotus alongside Grosjean in 2014 29 Nov 2013

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Race winner Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Second placed Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, USA, Sunday, 17 November 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, USA, Sunday, 17 November 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 22 November 2013

Lotus have signed Pastor Maldonado for the 2014 season, it was announced on Friday. Maldonado, who leaves Williams after three seasons with the British team, replaces the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.

With Lotus also retaining Romain Grosjean after his strong 2013 campaign, Maldonado’s confirmation effectively ends Nico Hulkenberg’s chances of moving to the Enstone-based squad from Sauber.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014,” said Maldonado. “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. The regulations and cars will change significantly so it is a very good time for a fresh start. I can’t wait to be racing in black and gold.”

Maldonado, the 2010 GP2 Series champion, made his F1 debut with Williams in 2011 and went on to become the first Venezuelan to win a Grand Prix with his 2012 victory in Spain. This year he has scored just a single point on his way to 18th place in the drivers’ championship.

Grosjean’s re-signing with Lotus means the Frenchman goes into this third successive season of F1 competition with the team, having scored 132 points - including six podium finishes - in 2013, placing him seventh in the drivers’ championship.

“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season,” said Grosjean. “This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available. I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Commenting on Lotus’s 2014 driver line-up, team principal Eric Boullier said: “It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season. He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge.

“Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado; a driver I have known since he drove for me at DAMS in the 2005 World Series by Renault season. It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential - demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team - and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track.

“We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years and we are confident that we have a very good solution to all the challenges ahead. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

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