Maldonado warns against excessive penalties

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has warned that excessive penalties could ruin racing in Formula 1.

Formula 1's new penalty points system was given the thumbs up by some of Maldonado's rivals ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix but the Venezuelan raised a few concerns.

Maldonado was involved in an accident with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez last time out in Bahrain, for which he was given a penalty during the race, three penalty points added to his super license and a five place grid drop for this weekend's race in China.

"The rules are the same for everyone, so you need to avoid incidents," he is quoted by Autosport.

"But at the same time [it means] you cannot race, you need to only stay on track and wait for problems. If you attack and your manoeuvre is not that clear, or the guy is defending the place and you have a gamble, and you are fighting, you can be penalised.

"So they [stewards] need to be slightly more flexible. We are racing drivers and we are always taking risks. If you are competitors and you can overtake, you need to take risks - but at the same point the rules are going against the spectators."

"Ten years ago everyone was fighting and touching each other, because there were no penalties. Now we need to adapt ourselves."

Maldonado referred to his collision with Gutierrez as 'soft' and believes he attracted criticism due to the consequences of the contact.

"It was a soft crash," he added. "In my opinion it was a normal race contact - but because of the low nose as soon as I touched his sidepod he took off immediately. So it was a bit shocking from that point of view, and I didn't expect him to fly like that. But that is what we have.

"I think the penalty was related to the magnitude of what we saw, but not because of the contact."

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