Formula 1 News

Maldonado punished as stewards kept busy

The 20 seconds penalty handled to the venezuelan, moved him down to 12th place.
Sunday, June 24, 2012

VALENCIA, Spain, June 24, 2012 (AFP) - Pastor Maldonado was handed a 20-second penalty by race stewards late on Sunday for colliding with Lewis Hamilton during the European Grand Prix.

Maldonado of Williams was battling with McLaren driver Hamilton for third place before the two collided towards the end of the race, sending the Englishman into the barrier -- the 2008 champion was forced to retire and Maldonado wound up sixth.

After the race the Venezuelan claimed that Hamilton, who was struggling for grip at that point, had been driving too aggressively.

"I don't know why he drove like that," Maldonado said. "He was struggling too much with the tyres. He was completely lost and at that moment I was getting very good pace. He tried a very aggressive move on me."

Maldonado's penalty moved him down to 12th place.

Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne and Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber were also each handed grid penalties for the upcoming British Grand Prix after causing further collisions during Sunday's race.

Frenchman Vergne was given a 25,000-euro fine and a 10-place grid penalty for crashing into Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen while Japanese Kobayashi will drop five places for his collision with Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

Michael Shcumacher was also under investigation for using his car's drag reduction system in a yellow flag zone.

However, the Mercedes driver was not penalised and will retain his third-placed finish.

Maldonado and Hamilton just before the incident (Glenn Dumbar / LAT Photo)

Maldonado and Hamilton just before the incident (Glenn Dumbar / LAT Photo)

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