Pastor Maldonado is refusing to budge as Lotus attempts to accommodate ‘Friday’ driver Jolyon Palmer.
In China and Bahrain, Maldonado’s race teammate Romain Grosjean sat out Friday practice sessions so that Briton Palmer could drive his black and gold car.
“This is not ideal for the racing drivers as we lose an hour and a half of practice and we are not delighted to be giving up our ‘baby’,” said the Frenchman.
“But we have an economic reality today that means F1 is not easy. And the teams need to look at every possible solution to finance the budgets,” Grosjean added.
Finland’s Turun Sanomat reports that the Enstone team’s deputy Federico Gastaldi has now asked Maldonado to take his turn on the Friday bench, but the driver and his entourage “refused”.
Maldonado, who is strongly backed by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, “made it clear to the team that his agreement gives him the right to drive in each session at every grand prix,” correspondent Luis Vasconcelos reported. (GMM)