Mark Thompson/Getty Images
The major reason for Hulkenberg being overlooked for Maldonado at Lotus is because of the extra financial clout the Venezuelan is able to bring to the team, according to team boss Eric Boullier.
Maldonado is backed by state-funded oil company PDVSA and with the Quantum deal not guaranteed, Boullier told Sky Sports that the money was a key consideration.
Obviously there is a financial support with Pastor, which in these days we may need. And unfortunately, as I said before, timing is an issue. Even if Genii is deeply involved in funding the team, there are some solutions that need to be done. And it's true that Quantum Motorsports is the best one we can have but timing is everything, especially in Formula 1. We have to deliver a car in less than eight weeks now.
Despite his admission that money was a key factor in signing Maldonado, Boullier said that with some “fine-tuning” and TLC, Lotus can get the best out of Maldonado on the track.
I think we just need to make sure he can keep his focus - actually similar issues we had with Romain last year - keep his focus on track. I'm sure that with the proper support and team around him, we can do something nice with Pastor. Maybe there is still some fine-tuning to do with him. And I think one the most important parts, having talked to him already, is obviously feeling the support of the team behind him.