Auto racing is one of the most popular sports in the world. The stars of the automobile track are closely watched by millions of people around the world, eagerly absorbing those crumbs of information of interest coming from the media about their favorites. Each racing driver is a unique person, whose life and sports career deserve the closest attention. In this article, we will talk about a man named Pastor Maldonado. It is this athlete that worthily represents Venezuela on the world stage in the racing environment.
The future star of the car track was born on March 9, 1985 in the city of Maracay. At the age of four, Pastor Maldonado began to show interest in speed, which is not surprising, since he had relatives involved in car racing - Uncle Manuel and father Johnny. Thus, at such an early age, our hero continued the family tradition and became a worthy representative of his dynasty.
Pastor Maldonado studied at a school named after Juan XXIII. In it, he very diligently studied Italian, which in the future could very much contribute to his racing career. Already at the age of five, the Venezuelan achieved quite good results in mountain biking. It was this sports direction that quite seriously helped his development as an athlete.
At the age of seven, Pastor first performed in karting. He was also successful in these races: from 1993 to 1999, he was able to win all the national championships. Having managed to go this way, the young man decided to try his luck already at the international level. His team consisted of himself, manager Johnny Maldonado, mechanic David Belandria.
A new round in life
Pastor Maldonado graduated from the Maracay military school. It was in it that he received many lessons that significantly contributed to his development as an individual.
One of the most significant events in his life was the transition from karting to racing in single cars.
In 2003, Pastor first performed in the Italian Formula Renault Championship. His team was Cram Competition. According to the results of the championship, he took a rather high place for a beginner - seventh. During the season, he finished three times on the podium and even once won a half-position. Also, while driving the Cram Competition, the pilot participated in the German stage of Formula Renault, which was held at the Oshersleben circuit.
The year 2004 was marked by double work for the rider: he performed simultaneously in the Italian and European versions of Formula Renault. It was in Italy that he was able to become a champion for the first time. To do this, he needed eight victories in seventeen races. In addition, he participated in the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup on the Spa Francorchamps track, where he was able to take fifth place.
In the fall of the same year, Pastor Maldonado (number 13 is his permanent) visited as a test pilot of the Formula -1 Minardi team. The then owner of the team spoke quite positively about the skill of the rider.
Formula - 3000
In this racing series, the pilot ended up in 2005. In it, he spent four races with the Sighinolfi Auto Racing team, with which he reached ninth place.
In addition, he rode in the Renault World Series, where the best result was seventh. It was in these races that Pastor Maldonado, for which accidents were, in principle, a rare occurrence, received a ban on participating in 4 races. And all because in the race held in Monaco, he did not slow down, as warned by warning flags. As a result, the driver had an accident and rather seriously mutilated the marshal.
Test of endurance
In 2006, the Venezuelan has already become a full-fledged participant in the race of racing drivers called the World Series Renault. He played in it very unstable, nevertheless he was able to compete with the leaders of the championship and even win four races. He was part of the Draco Racing team. At the end of the season, he became the third in the overall standings, although he was supposed to be in first place. Such a downgrade was due to the fact that the Pastor was disqualified on the Misano track due to a non-compliance of the machine with the declared and approved technical regulations. This decision was challenged in court in January 2007, but the final deprivation of the rider of fifteen points led to the fact that in front of him were the pilots of the Italian Formula Renault Alex Danielsson and Borja Garcia.
From 2007 to 2010, the pilot Pastor performed in the GP2 racing series. Moreover, in the same period of time, he managed to ride in parallel in the Euroseries 3000, as well as in the bodywork championship of the International GT Open.
Already during the first test races, Maldonado was able to demonstrate very good speed and show brilliant driving skills. However, for a long time he could not achieve the desired result, and during the first season in GP2 he also managed to get into a rather serious accident during training, because of which he fell out of order due to a collarbone fracture for some period of time.
Such instability in performances and frequent changes of teams led to the fact that the Venezuelan could become a champion only after four years of his active performances - in 2010, when he managed to win the race six times in a row. At the same time, the pilot manager was already looking for him a place in an elite race called Formula 1.
In 2011, Pastor was found a combat pilot's place in the "stable" Williams, which at that time was experiencing financial difficulties due to the fact that part of the sponsors refused to continue cooperation with her.
The team experienced serious problems and had one of the weakest and slowest cars in the entire championship. It goes without saying that during the crisis no one paid special attention to the pilot’s results and did not make any significant claims. Maldonado was able to gain valuable experience during performances at such a high level. And after some time, during the race of the Belgian Grand Prix, the Venezuelan man was able to score his first, long-awaited test point, ahead of the much faster and more powerful Force India and Renault cars on his way.
In 2012, a team from Britain changed the engine supplier, which significantly improved the rider's ride. From that moment on, Pastor and his partner Bruno Senna began a regular fight for points, and on the track in Spain, Maldonado even managed to gain a half-position for himself and eventually win the race - the first for himself in all the races of the Formula 1 competition. However, the overall result of the season was not so positive - he took only the fifteenth line in the individual classification of pilots, which once again confirmed his absolute instability as an athlete.
Going to Lotus
In 2013, Maldonado once again had difficulties with the car and fought for places in the top twenty. Over the year, he was able to earn just one point. During the off-season break, the top management of the team made a rather mixed decision - to transfer the rider as the main pilot to the Lotus team. This plan did not fully justify itself, since the “stable”, new to the Venezuelan, had a great variety of various technical problems. As a result, the Pastor for eighteen races finished only once in the points zone (once he could not even start) and finished the season on the sixteenth line of the overall standings.
In February 2016, news appeared in various foreign media that the Pastor would not take part in the new season of the Royal Races due to the fact that he would not be renewed, and Kevin Magnussen became the new pilot to take his place .