Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado retires from F1

Caracas, Feb 2 (IANS) Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, the only Venezuelan in the world’s top racing category, has announced his retirement, saying he will not participate in the 2016 Formula One (F1) season.

Maldonado made the announcement on Monday via a press release and did not specify the reasons behind his retirement. However, it is thought to be due to the bad results he accumulated in 2015, reports Xinhua.

Aboard the E23 open-wheel car with the Lotus shield, the Venezuelan only reached 27 points and achieved just six top starting positions out of 19 races.

“Today, in all humility, I inform you that I will not be on the F1 start line in 2016,” said Maldonado.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped make my dream of representing Venezuela in Formula One come true,” added the driver, who had participated in the Karting World Championship, Formula Renault 2000, Formula 3000, World Series, GP2 Series and F1.

He made his F1 debut under the Williams shield in 2011.

In the 2012 season, the Venezuelan achieved his biggest dream when he won a race in F1 in the Spanish Grand Prix. “That day I flew my flag from the highest point on the podium,” Maldonado wrote in the press release.

In 2013, the Venezuelan joined the Team Lotus and he stayed with them until his retirement.

The driver assured he would announce his future plans in the coming days.

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