Brace yourselves: Pastor Maldonado reckons he’ll be back in Formula 1 in 2017.
The WTF1 favourite lost his F1 seat this year, when Renault decided to replace him with Kevin Magnussen just a few weeks before the first race.
Despite losing the PDVSA backing which made Maldonado an attractive option for many a struggling midfield team, he reckons he’s still in with a good shout of securing one of the four remaining seats available for 2017.
Maldonado made these comments to South American website F1Latam.com while at a charity event organised by Juan Pablo Montoya.
“I’m talking to some teams and am quite optimistic,” he said. “Unfortunately, circumstances pushed me out of the world of Formula 1, and you know getting back in through the front door is never easy, but we are working hard and I hope to have some good news in the coming weeks.”
Don’t get our hopes up like that Pastor! This had better actually come to something. He also spoke about the difficulty of not racing this year.
“At first it was hard to accept not being in Formula 1, but after witnessing the performance by Renault I can say it helped me to feel better.” Ok so Renault weren’t great this year but damn, Pastor, that’s cold!
“This year I spent a lot of time with my family. I needed that, to enjoy time with my daughter, watch her grow, take her to school. That makes you larger as a person, as an athlete, as a whole.” But Pastor, you were already perfect!
Although one of the four available seats is with champions Mercedes, Pastor made it clear it was one of the midfield teams (Sauber or Manor) that would be his best opportunity.
“I am discussing with some teams in the midfield and hope to be on the F1 grid in Australia. Obviously I do not exclude racing in other categories, but my priority is to race in F1.”
Despite not having a race seat this year Pastor wasn’t entirely out of Formula 1 as he spent a lot of time with Pirelli testing the new generation of tyres that come into 2017.
Sauber, Manor, please: an experienced driver who has won a Grand Prix and has knowledge of the 2017 tyres wants to drive for you. Sign him right now. Do it for the memes!