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Hulkenberg vs. Maldonado: does Lotus take money instead of talent?

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Hulkenberg vs. Maldonado
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Nico Hülkenberg is a poor dog. Wherever he goes, he is put off. Because he doesn't have a sponsor behind him to pay him a cockpit. The race for the last Formula 1 cockpits for 2014 will be a race for the greatest dowry. And Pastor Maldonado has that to offer.

A allegedly, thanks to the support of the Venezuelan oil cartel PDVSA, the Venezuelan has between 35 and 50 million euros in his luggage. The new government in Venezuela may freeze most of the sponsorship deals in motorsport, but Maldonado seems to be untouchable. The 2012 Spanish GP winner is a hero in his homeland.

Williams gets severance payment and Massa

Just bad luck that he and PDVSA have contracts with Williams up to 2015 have. Claire Williams traveled to Caracas ahead of the Japanese GP. Allegedly it was discussed under which conditions Maldonado and his sponsor prematurely come out of the contracts. It is said that PDVSA offers a wholesome compensation.

This would give Williams leeway when choosing a driver. You don't necessarily need someone who brings money. A two-year deal with Felipe Massa is said to be nearing completion. If the Brazilian oil company Petrobras brings money with them, all the better. Williams has been negotiating with his former fuel partner for some time.

Is the source Quantum drying up?

That would make Maldonado free for Lotus. Like last year, bad news from Enstone is getting out. Money is scarce, wages are not paid, production is on hold, debts of over 100 million euros have accumulated and the engineers are running over to the competition in droves. It is difficult to judge from the outside whether rumors are purposefully spread or are true.

Team owner Gerard Lopez replies: 'People can't do math. I owe most of the debt to myself.' It's just funny that Lotus brought new parts to the car in the last few races. The extended wheelbase is just one example. Side pods with new flow straighteners are another. There must be money somewhere.

The fact is that Lotus needs fresh money for 2014 if you want to compete with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes in the future. A lot of money. An Arab investor named Quantum should buy 35 percent of the team over the next five yearsBring dollars. That would have been the sixth in the lottery for Lopez. But the payment of the money drags on. Perhaps the source will run dry completely.

Maldonado stands in Hülkenberg's way

This is Maldonado's great opportunity. That's why he's number one on the list of candidates at Lotus. And Nico Hülkenberg has moved into the second link. He can only offer his services on the racetrack and has to hope for a miracle. The quantum pays or a large sponsor docks.

But miracles have become rare in this sport. The tech race is a voracious octopus. Because sponsors are in short supply, drivers become sponsors. Team boss Eric Boullier publicly urged Lopez to provide clarity so that the drivers can finally be signed for 2014. Even Romain Grosjean has not yet been accepted.

Some claim that Maldonado already has a leg in the Lotus cockpit. And that Hülkenberg is faced with the choice of either driving for Force India or for Sauber. A tough choice. It could also mean: which engine is better in 2014, that of Mercedes or Ferrari?

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