Lotus confirm Maldonado for 2016

Lotus have announced that Pastor Maldonado will once again line-up for the team in 2016.

The Venezuelan had a contract that extended into next season, but with the cash-strapped team's future in some doubt, there were questions regarding whether Maldonado would stay in Formula 1.

However, the Enstone-based squad have confirmed that Maldonado will remain with the team for a third season, a decision which will reportedly trigger a $50million investment from his sponsor, PDVSA.

“It’s a positive for the future of Lotus F1 Team that we are able to confirm publicly that Pastor remains with us for next season," said Lotus chairman and team principal Gerard Lopez. 

"Everyone at Enstone will testify that Pastor is a terrific person to work with and we all know the performances he is capable of on track.

“Pastor joined us with a multi-year deal so this confirmation is a reiteration of our belief in him. We hope to be able to make further positive announcements regarding the team in the near future.”

Speaking after a securing a 12th-place finish in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, Maldonado was understandably delighted to have secured his future.

“It’s great that the team can confirm my position as race driver for 2016,” he said. “Obviously, there has been a lot of speculation about the future and whilst I have remained focused on my job on track it is also positive to know that my future is confirmed.

“This season has presented us with some challenges, but the quality of the squad at Enstone is clear to see. I really feel part of the family at Enstone and I’m looking forward to building on the work done this year to deliver better results in 2016.”

Maldonado has been a somewhat controversial figure since joining Williams in 2011, with many viewing his aggressive driving style as being too reckless. The highlight of the 30-year-old's spell in F1 is undoubtedly a surprise race victory at the 2012 Spanish Gand Prix, his only podium finish to date.

It is unclear who will partner Maldonado next season, with current team-mate Romain Grosjean believed to be on his way to Haas F1.