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Maldonado brushes off crash and spin in practice

Apr 18, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China - Practice Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has accepted the blame for making two rather basic errors during the practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix today, but it is unlikely that his team will be too pleased with the repair job that they have been left with.

At the beginning of FP1 on Friday, Maldonado spun his car whilst adjusting some settings on his steering wheel mid-corner. The Lotus driver appeared to simply take his eyes off the road, but he instead said that he simply had too much to think about.

I was on the steering wheel too much,” he said. “There’s too much to do on the outlaps.”

During FP2, Maldonado’s day went from bad to worse as he locked up his brakes on the entry to the pit lane, sending the Lotus car into the barrier and ruining the front end of the car.

“The incident this afternoon was a mistake from my side,” he accepted. “I was a little optimistic on the entry to the pits, and the run off is quite short, but that’s how it is. It’s a tricky part of the track and we’ve seen incidents there before.”

Lewis Hamilton famously beached his car at the same place back in 2007 after wearing his tires down to their canvas, giving him no grip on the tight entry to the pit lane. This mistake cost the Briton the world championship that year as he lost out by just one point to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Despite these rather embarrassing errors, Maldonado is pleased with the progress that the team has made.

“The car is better to be honest,” he explained. “The car is better than the previous race. I hope to have a better qualy. I don’t know how much but we are quite confident so we will see tomorrow.”

The Venezuelan driver is looking to score his first points of the season this weekend, but these mistakes are unlikely to have done his battered reputation much good.

  1. ditto65 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    If there is too much to do on the outlap, stay in.

  2. bclautz - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Another excuse from Pastor. spainish grand prix 2012 is looking more more a fluke every race

  3. techmeister1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    There is no doubt that there is too much to do with all the controls and the team is the one who needs to resolve these types of issues. I’m sure other drivers share his frustration but you don’t want to be wrecking the car either so he needs to get his act together or he’ll be replaced.

  4. worknman24hours - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    There IS a heck of a lot to do in the cars now.

    It’s not just about turning a few settings up and down.

    You are constantly managing the energy recovery systems to get the most out of the car every lap.

    And -now-those settings directly effect how the cars brakes work.

    Maldonado wrecked but you might well find that drivers as great as Fernando Alonso are doing so much button turning every lap it is costing them tenths of a second every lap.

    You drive a race car at ten tenths and try to comprehend and change five settings in two turns before the setting the engineers just barked out does not matter anymore.

    I have a saying that covers this whole thing.

    Everything is easy to the spectator.

    • ditto65 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      So maybe Maldonado should be a spectator?

      • worknman24hours - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        The funny thing is that Maldonado has won a Formula One race.

        Money did not give him that win.

        He earned it by being the guy that didn’t screw up and had the team who provided the best work to get him where he deserved to be -at the front at the end of the race.

        The race car drivers who have actually won a Formula One race is very small.

        The number of people who post on the internet who have ever won a Formula One race is infinitely smaller.

      • ditto65 - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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