Maldonado wanted F1 return after Rosberg retirement

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Pastor Maldonado was hopeful Nico Rosberg's retirement would lead to a shake-up within Formula One and present him a chance to return to the sport.

After making his debut in 2011, the Venezuelan made 95 starts for Williams and Lotus but lost his seat to Kevin Magnussen following the switch to Renault ahead of the 2016 season.

The departure of Rosberg after winning the drivers' title came as shock to the paddock and created an opening at constructors' champions Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas was the man chosen to replace the German for the upcoming season with Felipe Massa returning to fill the void left by the Finn at Williams, leaving no opportunity for a Maldonado homecoming.

"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 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."

Maldonado had talks with Sauber at the end of 2016 to replace Felipe Nasr, but he opted not to pursue a deal due to the team's lack of competitiveness.

He said: "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."