Date: 14th January 2016 at 9:51am
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Pastor Maldonado’s Formula One future is in jeopardy following a late payment by sponsor PDVSA.

As has been well documented, Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado is one of the most well known pay drivers on the Formula One grid.

During his time at Williams, Lotus and now Renault, his race seat has been bought and paid for by Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA.

PDVSA pay a reported £35million a year to secure the 30-year-old’s seat in Formula One, but according to the BBC ‘the money is several weeks overdue’.

This has opened the door for Renault to replace Maldonado, who was signed up by Lotus prior to the teams takeover.

Former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen, who was released by McLaren at the end of last season, was given a tour of the Renault factory in Oxfordshire last week and he is the strong favourite to replace Maldonado if the situation cannot be resolved.

A Renault spokesman said: ‘It’s speculation at the moment. We have a contract with Pastor. That is the current situation.

‘Who knows what could happen by Australia but, at the moment, we are going forward with Pastor and Jolyon [Palmer].’