Pastor Maldonado admits the penalties dished out by F1’s stewards can be “quite strong”.
The Williams driver receive a ten second stop-and-go penalty during the Belgian Grand Prix for colliding with Paul di Resta (pictured), putting the Force India driver out of the race.
“If you make a mistake you must be penalized,” Maldonado told ESPN. “But the decision they take sometimes can be quite strong. That’s my opinion.”
But Maldonado disagreed with his penalty in Belgium: “I think what happened in Spa is clear; very clear and obvious. And I think it’s unfair that I got the penalty.”
It was Maldonado’s third penalty so far this season. Last year he collected ten penalties – twice as many as any other driver – although three of them were for technical reasons such as gearbox changes.
The year before Maldonado received five penalties, more than any other driver bar Lewis Hamilton. He has often attracted attention for the wrong reasons, notably his controversial collisions with Hamilton during qualifying at Spa in 2011, and with Sergio Perez at Monaco last year.
Maldonado shrugged off his reputation for being accident-prone, saying: “I’m racing, this is racing. My reputation is another thing.”
“I will race and if some people think something about me then they are free. I cannot say ‘don’t think that’.”