Lopez: Hulkenberg and Maldonado just two of four being considered
13 November, 2013
Lotus F1 team chairman Gerard Lopez has revealed that his team is looking at four possible candidates to partner Romain grosjean in the team for 2014, among them are Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado.
Lopez told Die Welt newspaper, “We are talking to four candidates for 2014. Among them are Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado. It will be an internal decision – which has yet to be made.”
It is no secret that Hulkenberg is the Enstone based team’s preferred choice to replace Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen. But the availability of Pastor Maldonado, who departs Williams at the end of 2013, is of interest to the cash strapped team. The Venezuelan is known to have a hefty budget available, through his backers PDVSA, to secure a drive for 2014 and beyond.
With reference to Maldonado’s impressive victory at the 2012 Spanish grand Prix, Lopez said, “Maldonado has won a grand prix, and this is a fact you cannot hide and [which] should be considered.”
Meanwhile the team is awaiting confirmation of investment by Quantum Motorsports which is led by businessman Manssor Ijaz, whose credentials are questionable. The team is yet to confirm a deal with the consortium, hence cash flow is still a big issue for the team who ‘lost’ Raikkonen due to his unpaid wages. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.