The announcement that Joylon Palmer and Pastor Maldonado would be driving for Lotus was made some time ago and presumably after a continued arrangement for PDVSA money, Maldonado would live to see another season. I’ve no way of knowing when and if that money was due and paid but there are reports that erstwhile F1 driver Kevin Magnussen was recently seen at the Enstone factory speaking with new owner, Renault, about a ride.
One could presume that he’s discussing a role for 2017 and a reserve role for 2016 or, as the article states, he could be discussing replacing Maldonado over PDVSA concerns, the price of oil and tumult in Venezuela at the moment.
Renault haven’t made any driver announcements since acquiring the team for a Pound and most weren’t expecting it as both Palmer and Pastor had money attached to their deals as paying drivers. There would be few F1 fans who would question the logic of jettisoning Maldonado for Magnussen even if it meant you missed out on PDVSA money or had to cut a check back to them.
At this point, Renault is back in the sport and I can’t imagine that they need a paying driver with a big wallet as their veteran role at the team for car development. Perhaps they feel getting back to the program of winning is what they need to do and losing Romain Grosjean stung so why not pick up Kevin?
Kevin is a good choice and handy driver having cut his teeth in F1 already and could be a veteran role for Renault…at least until Romain comes back.
Hat Tip: Telegraph