F1: Maldonado talking to teams about 2017 return

Pastor Maldonado is speaking to a number of Formula 1 teams about a return to the grid in 2017 after losing his Lotus/Renault seat over the winter.

The Venezuelan was replaced by Kevin Magnussen for this season, bringing to an end a five-year career in F1.

“I really want to have my second chance because I still feel I have a lot to do in F1,” Maldonado told Autosport. “My plan is to return to Formula 1. It was not too bad to stay away for one year as it has given me time to reflect. We have started conversations with teams and we are trying to negotiate something for next year.”

Maldonado was personally sponsored by PDVSA, his country’s state-owned oil and gas giant, to the tune of around $46 million per year. PDVSA became involved in a dispute with Renault over payments that resulted in it opting to tear up its deal, leaving Maldonado without a seat.

With several drivers out of contract next year, Maldonado believes he is an attractive proposition to teams.

“I’m not a rookie who needs to restart for zero,” said Maldonado, who has conducted significant amounts of tire testing for Pirelli this year. “After five years in F1, I feel I can do a very good job.”

The 31-year-old made 95 starts in F1, with the highlight being his 2012 Spanish Grand Prix victory with Williams. However, for most of his time in F1, Maldonado believes he did not have a car with which he could deliver consistently.

“I never had the car to show my talent,” he said. “When I was with Williams, we won a race and 2012 was a good season. But the other two seasons were not so good and at Lotus, it was a bit the same – I never had a chance to be at a good level.

“I would like a good car, maybe not the best but a car that allows me to show my potential and be in the points regularly.”

Originally on Autosport.com

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