Maldonado not ruling out F1 comeback despite refusing 2017 opportunity

ยฉ XPB 

Pastor Maldonado turned down an offer to return to Grand Prix racing this year because the drive did not provide him with the necessary guarantees.

A one-time Grand Prix winner with Williams, Maldonado was ousted from Lotus at the end of 2015 when the Enstone-based outfit was taken over by Renault.

After sitting out 2016, the Venezuelan had talks with several teams for this season but nothing came to fruition, although he says he declined one offer that was submitted to him.

"I have the experience and I had opportunities to come back here this year [in a race seat]," he told Motorsport.com.

"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."

Despite winning a Grand Prix, Maldonado had a checkered career at the pinnacle of racing marked by a numerous accidents and on-track encounters with his colleagues.

He nevertheless succeeded in sustaining his presence in F1 thanks mainly to the financial support of Venezuela's state-owned oil conglomerate PDVSA which sponsored the driver to the tune of around $46 million a year!

With his country's economy in shambles, that windfall has now evaporated but Maldonado insists this does not represent an obstacle should he decide to revive his F1 ambitions.

"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," he said

"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."

"I discovered there is something more interesting than F1 in life," he said.

"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."

 

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