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Engine change for Maldonado, no penalty

Mar 24, 2013, 3:43 AM EDT

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Race Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has changed his engine ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, but he will face no penalty.

Williams opted to change the engine in his FW35 as a precautionary measure due to the pistons being damaged.

However, whereas an engine change normally incurs a ten place grid penalty, the team have decided to use one of Maldonado’s remaining seven engines for the race, meaning that the Venezuelan driver will still start from 16th place.

As the change has been made this close to the race starting, Maldonado will not be allowed to use the damaged engine again in qualifying or races for the rest of the season.

Maldonado spoke yesterday about his disappointment following his exit in Q2, believing that Williams had the pace to qualifying in the top ten. If the team can run strongly in the changeable conditions in Malaysia, they could score their first points of the season. However, they can be assured that they will face a fight from the front-runners for points.

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