Stewarding can be tough, admits Maldonado

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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’.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.