Pastor Maldonado has officially confirmed his departure from the Renault Formula One Team and will be replaced by former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen for the 2016 season.
The Venezuelan released a statement on Monday confirming the news saying:
As everyone knows, in recent days, there have been a number of rumours about my immediate future in Formula 1, Today I most humbly inform you I will not be present on 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.
Maldonado who replaced Kimi Raikkonen at the Lotus F1 Team at the start of the 2014 season has earned the unfortunate nickname Crashtor due to the fact that during the course of his time in Formula One he was involved in a number of accidents.
The news of his departure from Enstone comes after negotiations between Renault and his government owned backers oil giant PDVSA reportedly broke down due to the fact that there was outstanding sponsorship revenue owed to Renault for the season ahead and this it is believed one of the primary reasons as to why Maldonado has lost his seat also his poor performances compared to those of his then team mate Romain Grosjean.
Maldonado whose highlight in Formula One was taking victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix in 2012 with the Williams F1 Team concluded by saying:
I thank God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and all who have helped me realise this great dream of being able to represent Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport. See you soon.
Magnussen is set to be announced as Jolyon Palmer’s team mate for this season at an event in Paris on Wednesday where Renault are due to announce further details of the Formula One programme.
Former world champion Alain Prost is expected to be a part of the team in an ambassador or advisory role.