Lotus hires Maldonado to replace Raikkonen in 2014

The Canadian Press

11/29/2013 1:31:00 PM

ENSTONE, England -- Lotus has hired Pastor Maldonado to replace Kimi Raikkonen at the Formula One team for the 2014 championship.

The Venezuelan driver leaves Williams after three years and will partner Romain Grosjean, who stays on at the English-based team for a third season.

Maldonado, who won just one point this season for Williams, says on Friday "it's no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula One career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season."

Lotus finished fourth in the constructors' championship, helped by Grosjean's four podium finishes in five grands prix before a blowout in the season-ending race in Brazil.

Raikkonen has joined Ferrari for next season.