Maldonado motivated by your hate

It may sound strange but I’ve defended Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado in the past. sure, it’s not a weekly occurrence for me but his performances aren’t something one can brag about weekly either. As AUTOSPORT points out, the fact is he’s finished in the points ten time in 86 races and most of that has been with a car that can, in fact, finish in the points. It’s not like he’s driving a Marussia.

So is the criticism of Pastor Maldonado justified or has he simply become Formula 1’s favorite punching bag? Each fan has their own reason but I suggest that in the end, you are measured on your performance and Maldonado has been beaten by his teammates which is always the measuring stick for any driver. He’s had his share of incidents, crashes and DNF’s and this all adds up to a heaping dose of critique. That doesn’t bother him though:

“It doesn’t bother me at all.

“I’ve always been heavily criticised by many people, but it’s part of my job and part of my life.

“This is a very intensive job and I just always try to do my best for the people I work with.

“Whether that’s in the factory or the simulator, the engineers and the people who need to like me, the team, like me.

“If you ask me what I would prefer, I prefer people talk good about me, which is normal, but what they say does not affect me.

“Maybe it motivates me, who knows?”

We’re all human and while he has a brave face, this type of harsh and constant criticism can’t be easy to take for anyone. If it were motivation, I argue that he would be doing much better by now but that’s not really the case either.

Maldonado is not the first F1 driver to reap harsh criticism and he won’t be the last. There are always those who sometimes seem miscast for the play and perhaps Pastor is one of them. On the other hand, he has several million in sponsor backing that says he’s not and in the end, that seems to speak much louder than any criticism we may have for him as fans.


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It would be great if so many teams didn’t have to be motivated by a pay drivers budget. I suspect despite their ‘like’ of Maldo, Lotus would ‘like’ a quicker less accident prone driver even more.


He has been faster then Grosjean in most races this year and only had 1 bad race in Hungary. He couldn’t be blamed for any DNF this season, they were all technical failures or he was hit from behind by other drivers. He brings a big sponsor so why would they be looking for another driver?


Fair enought Baziz, to see if i gave been unfairly maligning Maldo, I’ve just read through Pastor’s Wikipedia page. It doesn’t paint a very positive picture of his racing career, he did win GP2 in his fourth season, and he certainly looked quick in the 2012 Williams. But he has made alot of errors in his career, a ‘lifetime ban’ from injuring a marshall at Monaco in his F3000 days, and the most reprimanded driver in F1 indicate that he might be operating beyond the limit of his ability. I think without the big sponsor payment Lotus would have considered… Read more »


This article is just embarrassing! How on earth can you call last years Lotus or the 2011 & 2013 Williams cars that should be regular point scorers? If you even follow Formula 1 for a little bit you would have known better. Also stating that Maldonado was beaten by his team-mates is complete nonsense. Not only did he outscore Senna in 2012, he was beating Barrichello in the second part of his rookie season. In 2013 Maldonado finished ahead of Bottas more then the other way around, only because Bottas got an 8th place finish that year made him to… Read more »

Negative Camber

It’s ok to like Pastor, I’ve met him and he was a very nice guy. But let’s be realistic. Compared to Grosjean: Grosjean Career points in 73 races? It’s 259. Pastor Career points in 85 races? It’s 61. In the same team and same races, Grosjean has best start and best finish positions over Pastor with more podiums and best finish in points at 30 to 11. That’s finishing in same car that you may be suggesting isn’t capable of scoring points. I hope we’re not going to suggest that Pastor is “beating” Grosjean while failing to mention Romain’s DNF’s… Read more »


You can only compare them since they’re in the same team and it is clear Romain has done a better job, especially last year. This year, without a doubt Romain is faster in qualify but Pastor has been the faster driver in the races. About the Monaco incident, that was very unlucky. I have read a lot about it and the thing is multiple drivers missed those waved flags at that moment. They all stated that the flags waved by the marshals were not clearly visible. Since it seems there is not video of the incident one can only base… Read more »


Here is another link that discusses the incident
It includes the comment
“Maldonado says he regrets the accident and is “going through very difficult times”, he also said he believes the penalty to be completely justified.”
So possibly not unlucky


GP2 champion yes. I think the point being made is does this guy belong in F1. He can drive a race car. That is obvious. However I don’t know how unofficial makes you a champion of the Renault 3.5…….Might get laughed at with that on his resume. 2011 he was outscored by Barrichello in the end. Which is what matters. Although him being a rookie compared to the veteran Barrichello does hold some count. Maldonado retired 6 times compared to Barrichellos 3 in that 2011 season. You do realize Senna scored points 10 times compared to Maldonado’s 5 in 2012.… Read more »

Negative Camber

Additionally, I’m not sure Senna (Bruno) is the best measuring stick as he is not in F1 for a reason. In my opinion, you’re spot on Brantly, no says he can’t drive and he could mop my arse in a race but is he F1 material? A super nice guy when I met him but still, is it F1 worthy? Not quite sure the criticism isn’t unfounded.


Hate is such a strong word. He is a racing car driver not an evil dictator or a daytime talk show host.

Negative Camber

Well, fans I read say they hate the pay driver scenario, they have the accidents he’s caused, they post some really hateful photoshopped pics etc. I think it’s fitting. :) Although I like the thought of Pastor having a TV show. ;)


Daytime host like Alan Combs or Ed Shultz?




I offer a simple table as evidence that Pastor should not be in F1.

GP2 Champions, in order: year in GP2 when they won their championship:

Nico Rosberg: 1
Lewis Hamilton: 1
Timo Glock: 2
Giorgio Pantano: 4
Nico Hulkenberg: 1
Pastor Maldonado: 4
Romain Grosjean: 2/3*
Davide Valsecchi: 5
Fabio Leimer: 4
Jolyon Palmer: 4

* Grosjean finished 4th in second year, despite moving to F1 mid-season – probably would NOT have won (Hulk did). He then won his championship in his second *full* GP2 campaign, having had 2 half-seasons in between his first and last)


Hi S&A, Not really a Pastor comment, but are you saying if a driver can’t win GP2 in their first season, they aren’t good enough for F1?


Not exactly, it’s more that winning GP2 in one or two seasons is an indicator that you ARE good enough for F1. There are plenty that never won a GP2 title that made it to race seats in F1. I guess my point is that if it takes more than 2 years to win the GP2 Championship you are good, but not great. To be honest, I think doing it one season is the real indicator. Not many will argue that Rosberg, Hamilton and Hulkenberg are real talents. Grosjean was plucked for a race seat in F1 in the middle… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Maldo is proof positive that you can’t buy a championship, no matter how many millions of dollars you throw at the problem.

Dr T

In professional wrestling terms you need faces and heels… and upper card and lower card…

Pastor – lower card heel… and jobber to boot


In recent history, has there been another driver in Formula 1 who has been in the series longer than Pastor, yet has a worse record than Pastor, or has had more DNF’s where the driver was at fault than Pastor? I’m betting that on both accounts that answer is no, although I could be wrong. During BBC’s Forum coverage after Hungary there were some interesting comments made by both David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan… Coulthard compares Pastor’s incidents with the final year of his career when he had several incidents. Coulthard says that at some point there needs to be… Read more »