Pastor Rafael Maldonado Motta (born 9 March 1985) is a Venezuelan racing driver, currently competing in Formula One for Lotus F1.
Before making his Formula One début with the Williams team in 2011, he won the 2010 GP2 Series championship. He became the first Venezuelan to win a Formula One Grand Prix when he won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, for Williams, from his first pole position.
Born in Maracay, Venezuela, Maldonado's first experience of formula racing was in Italy in 2003. He competed in the Italian Formula Renault Championship with Cram Competition, and was classified seventh in the drivers' championship. His notable results included three podium finishes and one pole position. Cram Competition also entered one round of the German Formula Renault Championship at Oschersleben.
In 2004, Maldonado ran a dual programme in Italian and Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup with Cram Competition. He won the Italian title, with eight wins and six pole positions from seventeen starts. In the European championship, he was classified eighth overall, with two wins. Maldonado also found the time to enter one round of the now defunct Formula Renault V6 Eurocup at Spa-Francorchamps, with a best finish of fifth place.
In November 2004, Maldonado was given an opportunity to test with the Minardi Formula One team at Misano in Italy. The team's former owner, Giancarlo Minardi, was present at the test and commented positively about Maldonado's performance...
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