Jack Leslie  |    |   0  |  1 February 2016

Maldonado confirms he won't be on 2016 Formula 1 grid

Pastor Maldonado has officially announced that he will not be on the Formula 1 grid in 2016.

Rumours surrounding the Venezuelan’s future picked up pace in recent weeks, after his sponsor, state-owned oil company PDVSA, hit financial problems due to the falling price of oil. He has now confirmed his departure from Renault.

Maldonado joined the F1 grid in 2011 with Williams and won his only race at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. He moved to Lotus for the 2014 season, with the Enstone-based outfit being taken over by Renault for this year.

He already had a contract for 2016, having been confirmed in September, but is now expected to be replaced at the team by former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen who will partner rookie Jolyon Palmer.

"As everyone knows in recent days there have been a number of rumours about my immediate future in Formula 1," he said in a statement posted to social media.

"Today, with the utmost humility, I inform you that I will not be present at the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season.

"Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honoured with the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance."

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