Lotus technical director Nick Chester says that Pastor Maldonado triggered his own retirement at the Belgian Grand Prix after he went off at the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex.
Maldonado qualified inside the top 10 and was running comfortable in the points-paying positions when he went off-track at the top of the complex on the second lap.
Maldonado went across the white kerbs on the inside of the corner and the impact was so severe that it was registered at 17G, sufficient enough to cause a loss of power on his Lotus E23.
While team-mate Romain Grosjean was able to finish on the podium for the first time since 2013, Maldonado had to retire for the seventh time from 11 races in 2015.
"We are still checking all the parts but he had a big excursion at Eau Rouge and hit some curbs very hard which gave the chassis a 17G impact," said Chester.
"That looks to have effectively knocked the power off the car and although he managed to get the power back on, it looks like we might have damaged the clutch control valve.
"Even though we may have been able to reset it when Pastor came back to the pits, we looked at the extent of the damage and decided to retire the car."
Chester believes that Maldonado's off cost him and Lotus a strong haul of points.
"Pastor’s pace was pretty good throughout the weekend, only a little bit off Romain as we saw in qualifying but certainly P4 or P5 were possible," he concluded.