Pastor Maldonado hoped for F1 return after Nico Rosberg retirement

Pastor Maldonado hoped the Formula 1 driver market shuffle caused by Nico Rosberg's retirement would open up a chance for him to get back on the grid in 2017

Pastor Maldonado hoped for F1 return after Nico Rosberg retirement

Maldonado, who lost his Renault seat to Kevin Magnussen ahead of the 2016 F1 season, had talks with Sauber at the end of last year but could not reach an agreement.

He says he recently had aspirations of getting an even more competitive F1 seat amid the movements caused by Mercedes needing to find a new team-mate for Lewis Hamilton.

Ultimately Mercedes opted for Valtteri Bottas, whose Williams seat was filled by bringing Felipe Massa out of retirement, while Mercedes reserve Pascal Wehrlein landed at Sauber.

Maldonado said he was only interested in returning with a competitive seat, hence him not pursuing Sauber further but being intrigued by the post-Rosberg possibilities.

"I evaluated the options and I'm still considering all the possibilities about doing a proper professional programme - and of course F1 is one of the categories that interests me," he told Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com.

"I had the chance to come back, but I only wanted to do it with the right conditions - not like the ones I had in my previous experience."

"After Rosberg quit, that could have created a domino situation that would have guaranteed me a good chance but things turned out differently.

"Alternatively, there was the possibility of going to Sauber - which is a good team, with a lot of experience, but has been having a difficult time.

"We decided in the end though that the conditions were not right to satisfy either side.

"It's a difficult time for many teams in F1 - not just Sauber - because their choices are dictated by economic reasons."

INDYCAR DEAL 'NOT CONCRETE' YET

Most recently Maldonado has been linked with an IndyCar drive with KV Racing, but he would only take up that seat if he is certain he can be competitive.

"I hear so many rumours about myself, but the news never comes from me," he said.

"Last year I attended an IndyCar race, to which I was invited, and probably some have linked this visit to me racing in the series.

"At the moment there is nothing concrete, and in this case also I will only accept a proposal if I believe in its quality and that it can bring me the right conditions for a good season."

When asked if he would consider abandoning top-line single seaters, he said: "Yes - I have looked at the full 360-degree spectrum of options. There is WEC, IndyCar as well as Formula E.

"But at the moment I have not agreed to anything.

"Until I find the right chance, I will stay quiet.

"Yes, I want to get back on the racetrack, but only as long as I can do it right."

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