10. Monaco, 2011.
Maldonado was having a great Monaco Grand Prix, running in 6th place, in his maiden F1 season until Vitaly Petrov bought out the red flag on lap 69. After the restart contact at Sainte Devote with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on lap 74 saw Maldonado in the barriers and out of what was one of his best drives in an F1 car.
For the first half of the 2012 Season, the Williams in the hands of Maldonado was one to watch, with an impressive drive in Australia, until a mistake on the final lap, and a great race in Spain (see below) it was little surprise to see Maldonado qualify 3rd. A poor start dropped the Venezualan down the field but in the closing lap he was in 4th behind Lewis Hamilton, whom was struggling with tyre wear. The two collided after the South American rejoined the track dangerously taking both drivers out of the points.
2015 for Pastor Maldonado was a vast improvement on his previous two but it didn't start as well as he would've hoped. It took the 30-year-old seven races to reach the chequred flag, following numerous incidents at the start of 2015.
Australia - First Corner Crash.
Malaysia - Engine Failure.
China - (See Below).
Bahrain - Stalled in the pitlane cause his brakes to overheat.
Spain - Contact with Romain Grosjean.
Monaco - Hydraulic Leak.
Despite the constant jibes by fans and drivers alike, Maldonado did show moments of brilliance, no more so than in Austria 2015. In the closing laps of the race Maldonado was working his way up through the points where he encountered the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen. The Dutchman's tyres were falling off the cliff and a contort strategy for the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado put the Venezuelan in striking distance of the then 17 year old. With DRS on the pit straight Maldonado went for the move on the outside, but got a huge tank slapper it what must be the save of the season as the Lotus didn't crash but made the move once the car was back under control.
Clearly frustrated with the lack of pace from the 2013 Williams as well as being beaten by his rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas, Maldonado let his emotions get the better of him post qualifying in America. In the week following the announcement that Maldonado would not remain with the Williams team in 2014, Maldonado accused his team of sabotaging his car stating, "I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure and the temperatures," he said. Asked to clarify his apparent accusation, he added: "You need to ask the team, the guys that are working on the car, it is quite clear."
Following a great result in Spain, Maldonado had a meltdown in Monaco. In free practice 3 he took a swipe at Sergio Perez's Sauber, making contact and damaging the Mexican's car, earning him a 10-place grid penalty. He received a further 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change after crashing at Casino Square just 1 lap after the Perez incident. He lined up 23rd after qualifying 9th, and was out on the first lap after running straight into the back of Pedro de la Rosa's HRT at Sainte Devote.
Bahrain in 2014 was another race to forget for Pastor Maldonado. First lap contact with Jean-Eric Vergne had the Frenchman shout, "Who was that Lotus Driver? He tried to kill me!", down the team radio. But on lap 41 the race was then turned on its head when Maldonado, who had just exited the pit lane, hit into the side of Esterban Gutierrez's Sauber at turn 1. This flipped the Sauber over completely, and the ensuing debris resulted in the deployment of the safety car. Maldonado received and in race penalty and points on his licence for the crash.
China hadn't been kind to Maldonado in 2014 with a calamity of errors in free practice. However 2015 looked to be different for the Venezuelan with the Lotus driver ahead of team mate Romain Grosjean and comfortably in the points before a mistake upon entering the pits on lap 34 saw the Lotus have to be pushed back onto the track by the marshals. Followed by a spin just laps later after running wide in the middle sector. His race was ended by Jenson Button on lap 49 after the Brit misjudged his breaking point and ran into the back of Maldonado after fighting for 13th place.
Another miserable day at the office for Maldonado. He lined up 6th following a 3-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg in Q1, then jumped the start after letting his clutch slip. The jump start meant that he was in the line of fire of Romain Grosjean's tangle with Lewis Hamilton which sent the Williams into a spin. Maldonado continued but crashed with Timo Glock on the restart leaving him out of the race. He was then given two five-place grid penalties at the Italian Grand Prix, the first of which was for his jump start and the second for causing an avoidable collision with Glock.
The highlight of Maldonado's career came at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012. He secured his only pole position in F1, following Lewis Hamilton's disqualification from qualifying for a fuel irregularity after initially taking pole. Despite being jumped at the start by home favourite Fernando Alonso, Maldonado undercut the Ferrari at the second round of stops and didn't crack under the pressure from Alonso to take the win.
Despite his reputation, Maldonado certainly provided entertainment for the fans. Other notable mentions are also Australia 2012, Monaco, Spa 2013, China, Spain and Abu Dhabi 2014.