Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 26th, 2013 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) -Pastor Maldonado insisted that Adrian Sutil was to blame for his Belgian Grand Prix clash with Paul di Resta, for which Maldonado was penalised.
At the end of lap 27 of the Spa race four cars – Maldonado’s Williams, Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber and the two Force Indias of Sutil and Paul di Resta – converged at the Bus Stop chicane. Maldonado ran wide as Gutierrez tried to pass, and as he recovered his line Sutil clipped his front wing on the way through. And then – some thought as Maldonado sought to enter the pits – he collided violently with di Resta, which put the Scotman out.
Maldonado was blamed by the stewards for the incident and he received a 10 second stop-go penalty. The Venezuelan though was adamant that Sutil, not he, was the guilty party in the incident:
"I ran a bit wider, I was trying to recover the line and as soon as we were in the middle of the corner Sutil was crossing my line, he was from the outside going to the inside he touched my front wing…I think he (Sutil) crossed my line in a very aggressive way, I didn’t defend, I didn’t do anything. I’ve been crashed (into) by him."
And Maldonado insisted that the Sutil contact put his car out of control:
"Part of the front wing went down under the car and I lost traction on the front, so nothing to do with di Resta. It was completely compromised by Sutil.
"My car jumped (after the contact) and I lost control and then I crossed the line just because I’d taken my hands off the steering wheel, it was quite a hard impact, I didn’t expect that. Yeah I’m disappointed for the penalty. And I’m disappointed for Di Resta.
"This corner is very difficult, because they (the two corners of the chicane) are very short between them."
Maldonado suspected that he had been penalised in response to the impact with di Resta, rather than the Sutil contact which the Williams driver believes triggered the incident: "The second incident with di Resta is a racing incident because I’ve been damaged from before and everything was happening very fast. I had no control of the car at the time. I think I’ve been penalised because of the crash with di Resta and not because of before. In my point of view, it’s not clear."
Maldonado also refused to be drawn on whether he is disproportionately targeted by stewards because of previous incidents that he has been involved in: "I don’t know, it’s the stewards’ decision. The incident was caused by Sutil, and I got the penalty.
"It’s the first penalty I’ve got this year, I’m racing, this is racing, my reputation is another thing."