Pastor Maldonado has pointed the finger at Esteban Gutierrez for leaving him nowhere to go and causing the incident that saw the Sauber car flip over onto its roll cage.
Heading down into the first corner, the two drivers made contact and Gutierrez’s car flipped before finally coming to rest the right way up in the run off area. The Mexican driver walked away unharmed, but was taken to hospital shortly after the race for a routine check-up. The team has since confirmed that he got the all clear from the officials in Bahrain.
Maldonado was immediately given a 10 second stop/go penalty by the stewards, as well as being handed a five place grid penalty for the next race in China and three penalty points on his FIA superlicense. However, the Lotus driver has pointed the finger at Gutierrez for causing the incident.
“We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one,” Maldonado explained to the media in Bahrain. “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 tires,” he added. “I think he was very unlucky and it’s good he jumped straight out of the car.”
Maldonado’s reputation for being a rather haphazard driver will have not been aided by today’s incident, but as he said, the main point is that Gutierrez walked away unharmed for the crash.