Maldonado hoped Rosberg retirement would lead to F1 return

Charles Coates/Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado had hoped Mercedes' recent search for Nico Rosberg's replacement would open up an opportunity elsewhere for him to return to Formula One.

Maldonado last drove in Formula One for Lotus in 2015 but was left without a drive when Renault took over the team and replaced him with Kevin Magnussen. The Venezuelan has an unenviable reputation for crashing, but has revealed he was in talks with backmarkers Sauber before the domino effect of Valtteri Bottas replacing Rosberg saw Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein take the position.

"After Rosberg quit, that could have created a domino situation that would have guaranteed me a good chance, but things turned out differently," he told Motorsport.com. "Alternatively, there was the possibility of going to Sauber -- which is a good team, with a lot of experience, but has been having a difficult time.

"We decided in the end though that the conditions were not right to satisfy either side.

It's a difficult time for many teams in F1 -- not just Sauber -- because their choices are dictated by economic reasons."

Maldonado has been linked to a place on the IndyCar grid, but says he will only return to racing if the circumstances are right.

"Yes - I have looked at the full 360-degree spectrum of options. There is WEC, IndyCar as well as Formula E. But at the moment I have not agreed to anything.

"Until I find the right chance, I will stay quiet. Yes, I want to get back on the race track, but only as long as I can do it right."