Date: 21st May 2014 at 7:35am
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In Formula One, it is fair to say that not many people rate Pastor Maldonado.

He’s undeniably very quick when he’s in form, but the problem for the Venezuelan is that he isn’t in form very often.

Many people also feel that he is the ultimate pay-driver. Would he even be in Formula One if it wasn’t for his lucrative sponsorship deals that he offers teams?

He certainly wouldn’t be with Lotus if it wasn’t for his Venezuelan oil connections.

At the end of last season the Enstone team wanted to sign Nico Hulkenberg, but after an investment deal collapsed, they were forced to take the cash from signing Maldonado.

It might have been the right move for the balance sheet, but on the track it’s fair to say it hasn’t quite worked out as yet.

‘He’s a driver who needs to understand that in certain circumstances, with his speed, then 95, 96, 97 per cent should get him to where he wants to be, Lotus co-owner and Team Principal Gerard Lopez told Sky Sports.

To-date Romain Grosjean has out qualified Maldonado at every weekend, leading that particular stat 5-0. In fact Maldonado is the only driver on the grid to have been beaten by the team-mate at every qualifying session this season.

In the races it hasn’t been a very good season for Lotus, but again the trend is Grosjean getting the better of Maldonado on a consistent basis.

Maldonado’s best finish has been 14th in Bahrain and China, whilst Grosjean has finished 11th in Malaysia, 12th in Bahrain and scored points in Spain with an 8th place finish.

‘We’ve lived partially the same thing with Romain, and people wrote him off, but now…we’ve people knocking on our door to see if he can be in their team. We will take a long-term view on things, so we’re not particularly worried. We’ll get the best out of Pastor” said Lopez.

‘We think we can do the same with him, as we did with Romain, to ensure he is at his best every race weekend, and consistently throughout the weekend. I have a lot of faith in him.’