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F1's Most Hated Driver Is Out Of The Series

Illustration for article titled F1s Most Hated Driver Is Out Of The Series

Pastor Maldonado, the most loathed and disrespected driver in Formula 1, is gone. What’s funny is who is replacing him.

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Young failure Kevin Magnussen will take Maldonado’s seat at Renault (formerly Lotus) for the 2016 season.

This cracks me up because Maldonado was hated not just for crashing into people all the time, but because he always seemed to have significantly more money than talent. He was backed by the oil-filled government of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez and no matter how many times Maldonado crashed, he always had a near-broke F1 team who needed his sponsorship money more than they needed a quality driver.

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Illustration for article titled F1s Most Hated Driver Is Out Of The Series

It’s unclear why Maldonado is gone.

Did Kevin Magnussen (who got booted from McLaren via email on his birthday no less) get the job because he is an amazing driver? Is it because his dad used to drive in Formula 1? Did he win the spot because he has more money?

Or was it all because Maldonado’s Venezuelan cash flow dried up?

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There’s likely elements of truth in all of it.

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Photo Credits: Getty Images


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

marginoferror
Margin Of Error

With 1 victory, 1 pole and 76 points in 95 races, he still enjoyed a more successful F1 career than most F1 drivers, ever.

People calling him a “pay driver” have no idea what a real pay driver was.

The last real pay driver I can remember is Jean-Denis Deletraz, a rich gentleman driver that paid 3 million to drive a Larousse at Monaco. He lapped in the 3rd lap an retired on the 9th due to exhaustion. Maldonado is legit, he went through all the feeder series and even won the GP2 title.

Of course the PDVSA money helped, but Segafredo money helped Senna got a seat a Toleman, and Santander money followed Alonso for quite a bit too.