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Maldonado punished

As the majority of drivers were showing their class in putting on wheel to wheel racing with out incident, Pastor Maldonado showed the dangerous side of motor sport.

20 of the best drivers in the world, were capable of enjoying hard but fair racing throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix. Team-mates from up and down the paddock were battling each other, racing for position but without contact.

Lotus's Pastor Maldonado however isn't known for his hard but fair driving style, in fact the Venezuelan has a reputation for being somewhat of a liability.

On the very first lap of the Grand Prix, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a right-rear puncture. The Frenchman told team radio that the incident was 'Absolutely mental,' with Pastor Maldonado believed to have caused the incident.

Then on lap 41 after just coming out of the pit-lane, the Lotus driver inexplicably crashed into the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.

In a scary moment the Mexican went air-born and barrel rolled along the track before landing back on it's wheels.

The BBC's David Coulthard chalked it up as a racing incident, whilst the Sky Sports commentary team of David Croft and Martin Brundle laid the blame squarely at Maldonado's door.

'We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into Turn 1 - maybe he missed his braking point, I don't know - and by then I was in the corner with nowhere to go. For sure it's difficult to understand and I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it’s good he jumped straight out of the car. Maldonado told

Gutierrez told the media: “First of all, the most important is that I am okay. They did all the checks at the hospital and everything is fine. Concerning the accident, I was completely surprised that Pastor (Maldonado), who came out of the pits, ran into me. I was clearly in front of him. I turned into the corner and I was suddenly hit and I rolled over. There was nothing much I could do.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix race stewards agreed with Gutierrez and after the race opted to hand out a further punishment, following on from the ten-second stop/go penalty he served during the race.

Maldonado will also receive a five-place grid penalty in China and has been handed three-points on his super licence.

If Maldonado clocks up twelve points he will serve a race ban.

Do you believe the penalty was too harsh, too lenient or about right? Let us know on the voting panel to the right of this article.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 7 2014

Time: 11:00AM


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