2016 F1

Maldonado looks to 2017 for F1 return, Ocon reserve, Wehrlein for Manor

Maldonado looks to 2017 for F1 return, Ocon reserve, Wehrlein for Manor

Maldonado looks to 2017 for F1 return, Ocon reserve, Wehrlein for Manor

Pastor Maldonado wants to return to Formula One in 2017, according to manager Nicolas Todt.

Maldonado has lost his Renault seat to Kevin Magnussen this year after his backer PDVSA missed payments ahead of the season.

It is expected the former McLaren driver’s deal will be confirmed officially on Wednesday, when the international press gathers at the Technocentre Renault in Guyancourt, just outside of Paris.

“I don’t see any concrete opportunity for Formula One this year,” Todt told Reuters. “We will try to bounce back in 2017.’’

“I don’t want to go into the details of the contract,” said Todt “The agreement was terminated in a friendly manner with Renault so no hard feelings. They behaved very fairly.”

Jacob Hammerholt, a sports reporter for the Danish broadcaster TV2, said the impending announcement in Paris will be welcomed by the enthusiastic country.

“Kevin and Renault is a really good match,” he said.

“When he came to McLaren, it was a great team that expected a lot and put a lot of pressure on a young driver. But Renault enters formula one as a works team after a break, so they know they will have to get the ball rolling before it becomes really great,” added Hammerholt.

There are also rumours that French youngster Esteban Ocon, the reigning GP3 champion, could be loaned by Mercedes to Renault to be reserve driver in 2016.

And Italy’s Omnicorse reports that Pascal Wehrlein, the new Mercedes-backed champion of DTM, looks set to secure a race seat at Manor this year, probably to be paired with fellow rookie Rio Haryanto.

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