It’s happened. It’s actually happened. Pastor Maldonado will not be driving for Renault in 2016, as the Venezuelan confirmed on Twitter that he won’t be on the grid this season.
While his replacement will be confirmed at the Renault F1 conference on Wednesday, it seems a pretty sure thing that it will be ex-McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen who will partner Jolyon Palmer at the team.
— Pastor Maldonado (@Pastormaldo) February 1, 2016
Maldonado’s statement thanked his country for his support in Formula One and reminisced about his career to date and that incredible underdog victory at Barcelona in 2012.
Pastor’s statement in full:
As you all know there have been rumours over the last few days about my immediate future in Formula One.”
“It has been 23 years in the exciting world of sports. I started at a young age. With the help from my family we grew up and I started to form as a professional. I tasted success, that thing that leaves you eager to fight even more. Soon after turning into a teenager I started chasing my dreams in unknown lands, without the warmth from my people, my roots, my Venezuela. In that moment, I became a man and I understood that there were plenty of things that could distract me from my goal, but I always reached it.
The karting world championship, Formula Renault 2000, Formula 3000, the World Series and the unforgettable GP2 championship. I got used to winning, we got over 200 trophies of all sizes and shapes. All my life has been filled with achievements in a wonderful space which made my people proud.
The most awaited dream arrived. The end that justified all the means: Formula One, a category that even gave me the most anticipated of wins, in that Spanish Grand Prix in 2012.
“All this thanks to the support from my family, from the international fans and above all from my country, that country that listened to our glorious anthem that reached the whole world, because I not only carried the flag in my car, but also in my soul and to the top of the podium.
Today with the biggest humility I inform you that I won’t be on the grid at the start of the 2016 season. Thanks for all the messages of support, passion and concerns about my future.
I’m very thankful to God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and everybody who has helped me materialise this dream of having represented Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport.
See you soon!
Regardless of your opinions, one thing is for sure. F1 won’t be the same without Pastor Maldonado.