Pastor Maldonado says “technical” reasons explain his current slump. Earlier, as the Venezuelan struggles to finish races in 2015 and throw off his growing reputation as a ‘crasher’, Lotus chief Matthew Carter warned that Maldonado’s millions in PDVSA backing do not make him “untouchable”. The 30-year-old is among just four drivers who are yet to score a single point this season.

“In terms of results it has not been an exceptional period,” Maldonado admitted in the latest edition of Italy’s Autosprint magazine. “But I went through a very difficult technical crisis at Williams, and it has been equally difficult at Lotus.

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