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Published: 12:05 | 2/2/16

Maldonado aims for 2017 return

Venezuelan keen on F1 rebirth

Pastor Maldonado is aiming to make a swift return to Formula 1, having been replaced by Kevin Magnussen at Renault.

The works Renault team, which purchased the Lotus F1 outfit, has decided not retain the services of Maldonado for the coming season.

Instead, Magnussen will partner Jolyon Palmer as the squad’s race drivers, but Maldonado believes that he once again compete in the top-tier series, according to his agent.

"We haven't given up on Formula 1 and we will be working to find a way back, hopefully next year," Nicolas Todt told Motorsport.com.

"As for this season, it is too early to say what he will be doing."

Maldonado is backed by Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, and his exit follows a dispute over payments between the state-owned firm and Renault, but Todt insists that the separation was amicable.

"I can only say that it ended in a friendly way," Todt added.

Maldonado raced for Williams from 2011 to 2013, the highlight being his victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.

The Venezualan 30-year-old, however, has developed a relationship for causing and being involved in accidents, and his highest Drivers' Championship finish came last season, when he placed 14th in the standings.

Maldonado confirmed his exit from Renault on Monday by stating: "Today I most humbly inform you I will not be present on 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.

"I thank God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and all who have helped me realise this great dream of being able to represent Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport.

"See you soon."

By David Maher

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