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Pastor Maldonado confirms F1 exit

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has confirmed he will not be racing in Formula One next year as Renault prepares to announce Kevin Magnussen as his replacement.

Maldonado's position at Renault had been in doubt since the start of the year after late payments from his sponsor PDVSA, which has been hit hard by a global decline in oil prices. On Monday he confirmed he would not be driving in 2016 in a Twitter message to his fans.

"Today with the utmost humility I inform you that I will not be present on the starting grid for the 2016 F1 season," Maldonado said. "Thanks for all your messages of support, passion and concern for my future. I feel very honoured by the support of all of you and proud of my professional performance.

"I'm very thankful to God, my family, my sponsors, my friends, my fans and everybody who has helped me realise this dream of representing Venezuela in the pinnacle of motorsport."

Maldonado signed a contract to drive for the team last September, but that was before the then struggling Lotus outfit was taken over by Renault. Renault has now lined up Magnussen as Maldonado's replacement, with the Dane set to be announced as a Renault works driver alongside Jolyon Palmer at a team media event in Paris on Wednesday.