<
>

Renault axing 'a bolt from the blue' - Pastor Maldonado

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado says being dropped by Renault ahead of 2016 came as a "bolt from the blue" but insists he harbours no resentment for his former team.

Maldonado had initially been retained by Lotus last year as it continued takeover talks with Renault ahead of the new campaign. However, after the takeover was confirmed and following late payments from sponsor PDVSA, Maldonado was dropped in favour of Kevin Magnussen.

The Venezuelan driver says the situation unravelled quickly and unexpectedly.

"The situation changed radically within a few hours and I found myself without a sponsor, and everything else came from that," he told Autosprint. "I am not angry, not negative, but I feel anything but happy. It felt like a bolt from the blue."

Maldonado has already ruled out the possibility of taking Manor's final seat for 2016, the only one yet to be confirmed ahead of the new season. However he is working on a solution to find a seat in future and is already exploring other possibilities to make that happen.

"These are sensitive issues. I have yet to understand and think only to work for an alternative way to keep running. PDVSA has so far done a great job and the state programme gave support also to other drivers -- such as EJ Viso and Samin Gómez -- and in various sports."