MARCH 8, 2016

Maldonado linked with Indycar switch

Pastor Maldonado could keep his motor racing career alive in America's top open wheeler series.

The Portuguese-language Diario Motorsport reports that the controversial Venezuelan, ousted by Renault amid sponsorship problems, is in talks with Ed Carpenter's Indycar team about racing on the road and street tracks in 2016.

Whether Maldonado's departure from F1 is a loss to the sport has been the subject of recent debate, as while he was a race winner, his description as 'Crashtor' attested to his tendency to get involved in incidents.

Pat Symonds, the highly-experienced technical chief at Williams, certainly thinks it was a good thing for Valtteri Bottas to be paired with a different teammate.

When Bottas made his F1 debut in 2013, the occupant of the sister Williams was Maldonado.

Now, the Grove team pairs Bottas with the long-time former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

Referring to 2013 when Williams was struggling with its car, Symonds said: "It was a difficult situation and the car wasn't easy to understand.

"With all due respect to everyone - as all the drivers in F1 are good - but with respect to Pastor, Valtteri did not have the best mentor when he came to F1," he is quoted by Finland's MTV.

"I often say that 2014 was the first real season for Valtteri, when fortunately he got a really good mentor in the form of Felipe Massa," Symonds added.

Meanwhile, L'Equipe (France) and La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy) report that former F1 driver Robert Kubica will make his return to circuit racing, five years after a rally crash ended his F1 career.

The reports say the Pole, who has been competing in the world rally championship, will race a Mercedes GT3 at the Mugello 12-hour later this month.