Date:Monday June 25 2012
Pastor Maldonado has lost his Formula One World Championship point from the European Grand Prix, following a post-race drive through penalty.
The Williams driver quickly caught the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton during the closing stages of Sunday's entertaining race.
Hamilton's tyres and noticeably fallen off the cliff and he had already lost second place to the Lotus of Raikkonen.
In typical Lewis Hamilton style he defended his position with everything he had, despite the total lack of rear grip, but the experience of Raikkonen meant that he just picked his spot and took the position from Hamilton with relative ease.
As we have seen in the past from Venezuelan Maldonado, he doesn't tend to show any patience behind the wheel and when he made his move on Hamilton, the Williams driver didn't intend to wait around.
Hamilton driving the slower car positioned himself perfectly going into the corner and with Maldonado on the outside, Hamilton took the corner and squeezed Maldonado out of the corner. But instead of slowing down, feeding back onto the track behind Hamilton and making a successful move later on the circuit, the Williams driver continued to race, off the track and hit the side of Hamilton's McLaren.
The 2008 Formula One World Champion had not only lost third position, but with his front wheel damaged from hitting the wall he was out of the race.
Maldonado limped home to tenth place with a broken front wing and promptly blamed Hamilton for the incident.
'I tried to pass him, he was struggling too much with the tyres, I was very quick at the end and he tried to put me out of the track. I tried to avoid the contact but I jumped over the kerb because he put me out of the track. Maldonado told Sky Sports before adding: 'So I know why he did that, because he was struggling that much. I think for him it was better to back off a little bit and don't drive that aggressive.'
Hamilton obviously disagreed with the Williams drivers version of events, but in a diplomatic response he refused to blame Maldonado.
'My tyres were gone, I don't know where I would have finished. Over the last lap or so, my tyres just went - it was almost like I had flat tyres at the back.' he said to Autosport Magazine.
'You never let people past, you've got to race for every position you can get.'
'I don't really know what happened, if I'm honest, I went into the corner and I didn't come out.
'It happened so fast, I really do not remember what happened. All I remember is sitting in the wall with only a lap to go.'
After investigating the incident the FIA race stewards at Valencia decided to penalise Maldonado for failing to rejoin the track in a safe manner and he was given a 20-second time penalty which dropped him down from tenth place to twelfth, costing him his world championship point.
Williams however do not lose the point on their constructors standings as team-mate Bruno Senna inherited 10th, with Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo moving up from 12th to 11th.
Date:Monday June 25 2012
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