Maldonado blames Gutierrez for leaving him “nowhere to go”

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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.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.