Date: 4th February 2016 at 9:06am
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It would appear that Pastor Maldonado’s Formula One career is over.

The Venezuelan’s future had been plunged into jeopardy following a late payment by sponsor PDVSA.

Over the years Maldonado has been one of the most well known pay drivers on the Formula One grid.

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

PDVSA have paid a reported £35million a year to secure the 30-year-old’s seat in Formula One, but last month it was revealed by the BBC that the money was ‘several weeks overdue’.

This opened the door for Renault to remove Maldonado from his 2016 contract which was signed up by Lotus prior to the teams takeover.

Whilst a Renault spokesman at the time refused to comment, it appeared clear that Renault would be set to replace Maldonado, with rumours that 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.

So with the team set to make their big unveil yesterday, Maldonado moved to confirm the news himself.

In a post on Twitter he wrote: with the utmost humility I inform you that I will not be present at the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season

Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honoured with the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance