Pastor Maldonado to Return to F1 if Promised a Competitive Seat

Former F1 driver Pastor Maldonado has spilled the beans regarding the potential of his return to Formula One, saying that he turned down an noncompetitive deal.

Pastor Maldonado is one of Formula One’s enigmas. The butt-end of many jokes and ridicule, the Venezuelan has endured his fair share of criticisms both on and off the track. Maldonado lost out on his seat at Lotus once Renault had bought them out, and once his relationship with Renault deteriorated over the concerns of his wage, Pastor stepped away from the world of Formula One. Kevin Magnussen stepped forward to claim his seat, and then not much else was heard from the infamous “Crashtor’.

xxxx during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 25, 2015 in Austin, United States.

Until now. Maldonado has recently opened up about his current plans regarding the premier class of open-wheel racing, saying that a return is still possible, but he isn’t sure of the exact details just yet:

“I have the experience and I had opportunities to come back here this year [in a race seat].

I was quite close to coming back but I decided not to. But if I don’t have any good feeling, if I don’t have any guarantees to do in the good way, it’s better to stay away – so I turned them down.” – Pastor Maldonado

MONTREAL, QC – JUNE 07: Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus drives during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Maldonado went on to say elaborate that while the majority of his past sponsorship came from his homes state of Venezuela, he doesn’t believe that the countries current hardships are enough to prevent him from ever stepping back into the coveted single-seater seat:

“It’s quite tough – there is up and downs in the economy and hopefully soon we can get out of this situation and the country will be strong again,” said the 2012 Spanish GP winner.

I don’t think it’s important – a return is still possible, it’s not the only sponsor. I’m not here because I don’t want to be right now.” – Pastor Maldonado

Despite the image some have made out of him as a racing-starved junkie who is just looking for the next chance he’ll get to rejoin the ranks of Formula One, Maldonado has a direct retort to those particular nature of folk:

“I discovered there is something more interesting than F1 in life. It’s not everything. But I’m missing it because I dedicated my entire life to motor racing – I started when I was six.

When I wake up and decide ‘OK, it’s time to go back’, I will.” – Pastor Maldonado

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – NOVEMBER 14: Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus locks up during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Maldonado has absolutely had his bout of bad luck in the past, but the future of F1 is always something that teeters precariously on the edge. A strong possibility remains that he’ll be tapped as a replacement driver for another team in the same way that Jenson Button was tapped to step in for McLaren’s Alonso in Monaco. Despite Pastor’s lack of a current contract, who knows what sort of curveball the drama in Formula One will throw down the line? A spot for him may open up sooner than expected.