Formula 1

Maldonado had hoped for new F1 chance after Rosberg retirement

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Pastor Maldonado had hoped to return to Formula 1 in 2017 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Pastor Maldonado had hoped the upheaval at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team would offer him a way back into Formula 1, but the Venezuelan was not prepared to settle for a ride with the Sauber F1 Team.

Maldonado has been out of Formula 1 since losing his drive at the end of the 2015 season with the Lotus F1 Team, but was looking for a way back in and into a competitive seat when Nico Rosberg retired having won the 2016 championship, but with Mercedes selecting Valtteri Bottas as his replacement and Williams Martini Racing bringing back Felipe Massa, his chances of a strong drive disappeared.

The thirty-one-year-old did have an opportunity to race for Sauber, but Maldonado rejected that chance, feeling it was not the right move for either party.

“I evaluated the options and I’m still considering all the possibilities about doing a proper professional programme – and of course F1 is one of the categories that interests me,” said Maldonado to Motorsport.com.

“I had the chance to come back, but I only wanted to do it with the right conditions – not like the ones I had in my previous experience.

“After Rosberg quit, that could have created a domino situation that would have guaranteed me a good chance – but things turned out differently.

“Alternatively, there was the possibility of going to Sauber – which is a good team, with a lot of experience, but has been having a difficult time. We decided in the end though that the conditions were not right to satisfy either side.

“It’s a difficult time for many teams in F1 – not just Sauber – because their choices are dictated by economic reasons.”

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