Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 2012

Maldonado drops to sixth as Raikkonen avoids penalty

2012 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 2012Pastor Maldonado has been docked three places on the grid for impeding Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying.

“The driver of car 18 was warned by his team not to “hold up” car 12 which was behind him, yet he clearly did impede car 12,” the stewards acknowledged.

“However as car 12 continued into Q2 a more severe penalty was not considered appropriate.”

The penalty relegates the Williams driver to sixth on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen moves up to third with Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso also gaining places.

The stewards decided against handing Raikkonen a penalty for cutting the track during the qualifying session: “Although car nine left the track at turns three and four (not only on this lap but also on another lap in Q3) a detailed examination of telemetry and sector times clearly indicate there was no advantage gained because the exit speed was shown to be slower than on other laps where the car did not leave the track.”

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73 comments on “Maldonado drops to sixth as Raikkonen avoids penalty”

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  1. Alexander Jansson (@)
    1st September 2012, 21:52

    In a sick and twisted world i hoped Maldonado to take him and Kobayashi out of the race to help Kimi win it all!

    1. I think kimi will in p2 by lap 2

    2. People wonder why I don’t think much of Kimi Raikkonen.

      It’s because I don’t think much of his fans, and this post demonstrates why.

      @alexanderfin: you are stating a desire to see a driver cause a multi-car accident for the sake of helping another driver win the race. It’s an attitude that I find absolutely appalling. I think it is in no way acceptable for you to want to see an accident that could cause serious injury or death to benefit Raikkonen. Are you really so callous that you would welcome this? Perhaps watching Luciano Burti’s horrifying head-on smash at Blanchimont will make you think differently. Or this video of Nigel Melker’s high-speed wipeout at the top of Eau Rouge just yesterday.

      Just imagine, if you will, if Button, Kobayashi and Maldonado came together like that. Watching one car crash was bad enough; when Luciano Burti crashed at Blanchimont in 2003, the world believed that he was as good as dead. And yet you make light of this life-threatening situation, because a win for Kimi Raikkonen is worth so much more than the lives of three drivers.

      You’re right: it’s sick and it’s twisted – but I for one hope it never happens.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        2nd September 2012, 11:33

        Yes because all racing drivers are responsible for their fans humanity, i hate narain karthikeyan because apparently fritzle liked him…..LOL

  2. What si it with all the hate against Maldonado….? Yes, he’s young, he’s agressive, and I’ll be the first to admit h sometimes goes to far ( like the quali incident wth Hamilton last year) But there was a time we applauded agressive drivers instead of deplored them….
    Like last race, when he briefly touched Di Resta and got….a penalty offcourse!
    May I remind people of the following clip:
    Regarded virtually unanimously as the greatest racing duel ever, anyone care to count how many times their cars touch?
    So give the guy a break, jeez!

    1. @melkurion Maldonado drove into Hamilton at Spa and drove into Perez at Monaco. He’s had several other incidents where he’s lost control of his car while racing another driver and taken them out – with Hamilton in Valencia (when he was also off the track) and with Perez at Silverstone.

      Villeneuve and Arnoux banged wheels a few times. They did not take each other out either through incompetence or malice – unlike Maldonado. The comparison simply doesn’t hold.

      1. Actually Kieth it does, because I was referring to the incident with Di Resta. They touched, Maldonado passed, both raced on, he was still given a penalty.

        Those other incident highlight the guy is faaaar from perfect, but I acually like it that he’s an agressive driver. And how many times did Massa and Hamilton take eachother out last year again, did they get penalties for all those incidents?

        Malsonado sure has earned a few, but not all he has been given, not by a longshot

        1. @melkurion

          I was referring to the incident with Di Resta.

          Your comment began by asking why some people don’t like Maldonado and I answered.

          You’re missing the point about contact between drivers. It isn’t simply that Maldonado occasionally makes contact with his rivals, it’s that he takes them out or pushes them off the track.

          For example, look at his penalty for contact with Di Resta. He was trying to overtake another car, lost control, hit his rival and pushed him off the track. Again. I wasn’t in the least bit surprised he got a penalty.

          Nor can I agree with you that he has received too many or excessively harsh penalties. I thought the stewards were far too soft on him for the incidents at Monaco this year (with Perez) and Spa last year (with Hamilton), which to my mind were examples of him using his car as a weapon and should have been dealt with much more harshly.

          Indeed, had they given him a more severe penalty at Spa last year he might have thought twice about doing the same thing at Monaco this year.

          And I think it’s in those two incidents you’ll find an answer to your original question about why some people dislike Maldonado so much. It’s not just that he hits other cars when he’s lost control of his – it’s that he has driven into other cars when fully in control of his.

          1. I thought the stewards were far too soft on him for the incidents at Monaco this year (with Perez) and Spa last year (with Hamilton), which to my mind were examples of him using his car as a weapon and should have been dealt with much more harshly.

            I’m still yet to see any conclusive proof that Maldonado hit Perez deliberately. His car position at the time was strange, but there was absolutely no reason to hit Perez.

            If we look back to Spa last year, I believe that Maldonado felt Hamilton had cost him a decent lap time. Whether or not Hamilton did it is beside the point; Maldonado’s belief that he did is what is important here. I’m guessing he told the stewards as much, and that the stewards agreed with it given that they gave Hamilton a reprimand for his role in the incident (which makes no sense otherwise).

            With that in mind, I think Maldonado’s aggression and his willingness to attack drivers on the circuit only happens when he feels like they have wronged him. To his mind, Hamilton pushed him off the dry line coming out of the Bus Stop, cost him a better lap time (and a potentially better grid position), and so Maldonado lashed out. If that is the case, it was clearly a knee-jerk reaction since Maldonado attacked Hamilton in the space of about two hundred metres.

            This is where we come back to the incident in Monaco with Perez: it makes no sense for Maldonado to have attacked Perez deliberately, because Perez did nothing to set him off. He didn’t block Maldonado, he didn’t cost Maldonado a grid position; he didn’t do anything. If Maldonado only uses his car as a weapon when he thinks another driver has wronged him – as I believe is the case – then he had no reason to attack Perez.

      2. @keithcollantine

        The comparison simply doesn’t hold.

        Perhaps, but look at last year. Whatever was going on in Hamilton’s personal life, it was interfering with his racing. Just look at his collision with Kobayashi at Spa and the way he accused Kobayashi of being in the wrong without looking at the replay – and when he did, he sheepishly had to admit that he was at fault for the accident. And yet, Hamilton never took anywhere near as much criticism as Maldonado has. Just look at this post, taken from the first page of this thread:

        Maldonado needs to take a race ban soon

        @f1andy83 suggests that Maldonado needs to be banned from racing. For blocking. And what’s more, the stewards acknowledge that there was no real harm done because Hulkenberg advanced to Q2. How is that at all deserving of a race ban?

        Maybe Maldonado deserves some of the criticisms he takes – but when people are suggesting such extreme punishments for such minor infractions, I have to question whether he deserves all of it.

        Personally, I think Maldonado’s problem is that he’s too eager, and as a result, he over-drives the car. I don’t think he’s incompetent and I don’t think he’s malicious, and when you ignore the cringe-inducing moments, he’s actually achieved quite a bit this year – he was sixth in Australia before crashing out (which at the time was hailed as a fantastic moment), qualified second (which became first) and went on to win in Spain, qualified third in Valencia and was on-track for a podium before he hit Hamilton, has qualified third for Spa before his penalty and he has out-qualified his team-mate nine times this year. There’s definately speed there, and there is defiantely talent, but he just needs to straighten himself out. Pastor Maldonado needs to do what Vitaly Petrov did between 2010 and 2011 – in 2010, Petrov earned a reputation as a bit of a crasher and wrecked the car once every three races or so; in 2011, Petrov knuckled down and refined himself considerably. If Pastor Maldonado can do that, then I think he’ll be fine. He just needs to put a little more thought into what he does before he actually does it.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      2nd September 2012, 19:09

      I think Maldonado has talent. He’s a lot faster than most of the “play-it-safe” midfield drivers.

  3. Kimi’s decision sounds fair enough. Shame that Codemasters can’t implement that in their games! I don’t know how many times I’ve been DQ’d for cutting the first chicane at Monza, despite showing willing to slow down.

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