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Maldonado blames Gutierrez for leaving him “nowhere to go”

Apr 6, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

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.

  1. mcseforsale - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Ever notice nothing is ever Pastor’s fault? Even his sucking is not his fault. He’s a $$ driver and nothing else.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Unfortunately it was a over optimistic attemp that should not have occured. He’s lucky to only get a 5 grid spot penalty for the next race.

  3. Jeff - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Damn it’s just racing you know.
    I don’t think anybody should have penalized.
    Well maybe the designers or officials who thought wedged-shaped noses would be good for safety reasons.
    Nothing is ever going to be 100 percent safe. It’s ridiculous to think so,

    • indycarseries500 - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Wheel to wheel contact, why are people blaming the noses?

      • Jeff - Apr 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Wheel-to-wheel contact caused one car to get perpendicular the other. Then, the wedge-shaped nosed flipped the other cars. It’s plainly obvious watching the video.

  4. chrisbayards - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Gutierrez did go a bit deeper into the corner, and that was likely because he may have seen that maniac Maldonado re-entering the race surface. You’ll also notice the car behind Gutierrez follows a similar line approaching Turn 1. Maldonado then drifts to his left to block and has a perfect view of Gutierrez’ car. End of story.
    Maldonado needs to be suspended for a couple of races and probation and maybe he’ll realize he’s the designer of most of the issues he’s involved in.

  5. worknman24hours - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Gutierrez blocked Maldonado’s line at the apex.

    real simple.

    Maldonado had a clear apex and went for it and Gutierrez blocked it without thinking ,hey maybe the guy coming up behind me is accelerating.

    So frankly, this is all on Gutierrez.

    Racing on track starts at pit exit-always has, always will.

  6. Mark & Sara - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    It wasn’t a problem of low noses, it was the contract of the wheels in momentum that caused the flip. If the nose had been higher like last year there would be more danger for G’s head.

    M got it wrong yet again, cold tyres, too much speed into the corner and no awareness of the other driver, he needs a race ban or two to force him to consider others.

  7. testover6370 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Same thing happened to me in karting this weekend, some guy from a mile back just dives in for the corner after I’m already at the apex and uses my kart as his brakes. I simply spun, didn’t flip, but I wound up second to last, just ahead of him as he was black flagged. If it isn’t acceptable in amateur karting, it isn’t acceptable in F1. If you’re that far behind another car/kart, you need to assume they’re going to go for the apex.

    • worknman24hours - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      -you need to assume they are going to go for the apex-

      EXACTLY my point.

      You want to protect your position but also your momentum and your car so the best way to do that is to maintain momentum and leave a space inside where the other guy can go without hitting you.

      If you have judged it just right, he won’t be able to pass you because coming out of the turn you will already be going faster then him.

      Blocking the apex going as slow as Gutierrez was going just makes no sense here.

      He should have been accelerating away when Maldonado arrived at the apex anyway.

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