Maldonado says Gutierrez left him “nowhere to go”

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Pastor Maldonado says Esteban Gutierrez could have done more to prevent the contact between the pair during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Lotus and Sauber drivers collided at turn one on lap 41 of the race as Maldonado emerged from the pits. Gutierrez’s car rolled over in the impact but Maldonado was able to finish the race.

The stewards held Maldonado responsible for the collision and handed him a penalty during the race, and penalty for the next race, and endorsement points on his licence.

However Maldonado said after the race he was not entirely to blame for the crash.

“We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one – 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 tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it’s good he jumped straight out of the car.”

Gutierrez has been released from hospital having been taken there for further checks following his admission to the circuit’s medical centre.

“I was completely surprised that Pastor, who came out of the pits, ran into me,” he said.

“I was clearly in front of him. I turned into the corner and I was suddenly hit and I rolled over. There was nothing much I could do.”

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108 comments on Maldonado says Gutierrez left him “nowhere to go”

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  1. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 6th April 2014, 20:27

    Just what about I was worried on the poll about the fairness of his penalties. Classic Maldonado: I am the King of the World, I am Faultless, I am Perfect and everybody else is just below me.
    He’s never going to change, he’s a lost cause.

    • D (@f190) said on 6th April 2014, 20:54

      I said exactly the same thing in the other comments. Every time he causes a collision, gets a penalty for it ( which highlights he was at fault) and still he plays the victim. He needs a 3 race ban to make him wise up. Harsh yes, but I seriously think it’s needed. This, the Hamilton incident and twice using his car as a weapon, how is the guy still in F1 ?

      I’ don’t like to see lotus suffer, but I’m so glad his money didn’t buy him a fast car. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he shouldn’t be allowed to race in f1.

      • Andrei (@crandreico) said on 6th April 2014, 22:36

        The day I knew that Lotus signed him I swore to the heavens why did they do it (money, of course, but why). Then I wanted for Lotus sake that he better make me ate my words, but the guy has this big, enormous ego that is his doom. He never learnt from his mistakes and never will.

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 7th April 2014, 1:26

        Before this, I thought he needed a one race ban. Now that he has shown to be in denial and so selfish as to actually blame others for his fault (as many of us predicted) it is time for the FIA to make an example of him and hand him a 3 race ban.

        • Michael said on 7th April 2014, 8:05

          3 race ban? Who are you kidding man? He did so many bad things that I can’t even count on the fingers of my hand!! He does not need a 3 race ban, he needs to be OUT OF FORMULA 1 FOR GOOD!!! He can’t drive worth anything and he puts others in danger too!

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 7th April 2014, 10:45

            He does not need a 3 race ban, he needs to be OUT OF FORMULA 1 FOR GOOD!!!

            I’m not 100% on that.

            While I agree that he is incredibly dangerous at the moment, I can see the possibility of him being very good if he gets himself under control. A 1-3 race ban, to try to drill the message into him, may do the trick. But it should be a final warning: Any more of this, and you’re banned.

      • Nick (@nick101) said on 7th April 2014, 9:20

        This, the Hamilton incident and twice using his car as a weapon, how is the guy still in F1 ?

        To be fair, the incident with Hamilton in Valencia wasn’t fully his fault. His car was up on the kerb and the front wheels off the ground. He tried to steer away but couldn’t.

        But then again, what about Hamilton putting Maldonado into the wall at Monaco?

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 7th April 2014, 12:20

          No he didn’t. He stayed alongside Hamilton while off the track and then drove clean into the side of him. They were going to collide regardless of whether Maldonado tried to avoid it or whether the minimal kerb was there, because Maldonado stuck with it after he lost the corner and couldn’t have possibly taken a tight enough line not to avoid Hamilton.

        • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 7th April 2014, 14:12

          Valencia was clearly PM’s fault . the correct word to describe it is not a very sophisticated word but here goes… “t-boned”

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 6th April 2014, 23:14

      Pastor didn’t even brake. I thought if was a car failure but it’s clear it was all down to poor judgement from the man in the car. Pastor needs to grow up, maybe Grojean can help.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 7th April 2014, 2:20

        Pastor didn’t even brake.

        Clearly not true. Of course Pastor is in the wrong, but don’t muddy the waters.

        • AldoH said on 7th April 2014, 14:53

          Of course Pastor is in the wrong, but don’t muddy the waters.

          Exactly what I thought. It seems to me that Gutierrez took a very wide line and suddenly, in the middle of the turn, he closed the angle. There is a video on Youtube showing clearly how (maybe because he thought that Maldonado was already behind him) the turns to the right to recover speed at the exit. I my view, that was a dangerous move. At the entrance to the turn, Maldonado had plenty of space, but not the middle of it. But Maldonado, coming out of the boxes and most probably with brakes without the proper temperature, simply didn’t have the reaction to avoid the collision.
          To be honest, I very much doubt that if the positions were reversed in this accident, Gutierrez would be handed a three races ban.

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 7th April 2014, 2:56

      he shouldnt be in F1. and also cecotto shouldnt be in GP2. they are crashers and they dont care. which sponsors want to be asociated with this people???? of course, besides the venezuela government…

  2. Just as we all saw coming he is the perfect driver who was not to blame, I mean if you think about it champions like Hamilton have crashed into him with no reasoning. I mean come on the man is a race winner!

    • Maldonado on his day is good. Not great, not amazing, just good. And even on those days he has a fifty/fifty chance of ruining his and someone else’s race. Maldonado does not look like a driver who is in his forth year in F1. Spain 2012 was merely him on a good day, not great, in a car that was ahead of his nearest competitors. It ranks as one of the most overrated drives I’ve ever seen and I recon half the grid would win it by over 10 seconds in that car. No matter how much I’ve tried to support him in the past, he is just a disgrace to whatever team he drives for. No driver will ever pick 13 after he retires at the end of the year.

      • I side with you in all. Maldonado himself thinks it was the best drive in the world, I just think his car was good on that day in those conditions. If not for his financial backings im I do not see how he could be racing in any category at all let alone F1. He is going to kill someone with the way he drives that boy!

    • Nick (@nick101) said on 7th April 2014, 9:23

      I agree with you all – Maldonado is a hazard and is clearly in the wrong here, like he often is.

      However, if we think back to 2011 and Hamilton – that was his 5th year in F1 and was a World Champion. How many people did he crash into that year?

      Were you all calling for him to be banned?

    • newtoybox said on 7th April 2014, 15:23

      I think it is a fair to assume Williams are pleased he now drives for/destroys LOTUS cars!!

  3. Gutierrez maintained his line throughout and then found himself upside down. The driver entering the track, either from the pits, or recovering from a spin etc. must give way to the driver already on the circuit.

    Why he is suggesting he missed his braking point I don’t know as he made the corner perfectly. That being said, Gutierrez flipping was a worse consequence than Bianchi on Sutil, but was it any worse an action than Bianchi?

  4. OOliver said on 6th April 2014, 20:30

    Maldonado is correct, Gutierrez has some responsibility. Had the accident been between Guti and Alo, I doubt the outcome will be as it is. In a race to the corner you have to give some room and Guti turned in like he was alone on track.

  5. minnis (@minnis) said on 6th April 2014, 20:31

    Just re-watched the footage of the incident. No hint of a lock-up from Gutierrez, and there was easily a car’s width between his car and the apex.
    Why doesn’t this guy just man up and admit he made a mistake, instead of making up ridiculous excuses that just make him look like a petty five year old?

    • Tiago Sá said on 6th April 2014, 20:34

      If you see his previous incidents you get your answer: because he’s basically a petty, ridiculous little man…

  6. Dimitris 1395 (@dimitris-1395) said on 6th April 2014, 20:31

    Come on he’s got to be kidding us! He was coming out of the pitlane and he was behind Guttierez even before he was over the white line.

  7. Tiago Sá said on 6th April 2014, 20:33

    They should just ban him from F1. He may be fast from time to time, but he really is bad news for F1. Not fun to watch, just a danger to other drivers, and we run and hide every time he spouts out his nonsense.

  8. TMF (@tmf42) said on 6th April 2014, 20:39

    what an ….. – he tried to take the corner in a way that could only result in a crash or GUT going off track. He is reckless, has no respect for other drivers and lost all trust from others in wheel to wheel racing long ago. And now he isn’t even owning up to it.

  9. HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th April 2014, 20:47

    Pastor is quite right GUT should have left the track so Pastor could use all of it, haven’t they learned that yet.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 6th April 2014, 21:14

      Heh, that is about the only safe course around that guy.

      It is astonishing anyone would say this is not Maldonado’s responsibility. Just look at the angle of his car at the moment of collision. Maldonado is headed straight for the run off area outside the corner while Gutierrez is taking the normal racing line while turning through the corner. I don’t know if Maldonado carried to much speed into the corner and couldn’t turn or what. It almost looks like he had no brakes approaching the corner, but I don’t wish to provide him with any more excuses than what he has already used. But, as he plowed into Gutierrez it looks like he never slowed or even turned into the corner, just plowed straight ahead.

      This had to be one of the easiest decisions ever for the stewards. Gutierrez is at speed on the racing line ahead of Maldonado going into the turn. Maldonado is merging from the pit lane, off the racing line and must consider that he may not even be very visible to drivers already on the track heading into the turn while he is coming up to speed and attempting to enter the racing line. Even on the motorways merging cars have the responsibility to blend into traffic, not the other way around. As others have mentioned, it did look like Gutierrez left enough room whether he knew Maldonado was there or not.

  10. MattB (@mattb) said on 6th April 2014, 20:52

    I was concerned not by the crash, which was unfortunate, but by the length of time it took to a) send out the safety car when it was clearly needed and b) for marshals and medics to reach Gutierrez. He sat in his car for over a minute, then slowly got out of his car: marshals only got to him after he got out of his car. If he was unconscious and/or there was a fire, there could have been potentially life changing consequences.

    • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 6th April 2014, 21:02

      I agree, that marshaling might’ve been normal in the seventies, but not now. Some tracks, like Zandvoort, got removed from the calendar for poor safety if I recall correctly, and it’s ridiculous that the current marshals aren’t even up to snuff.

    • Albert said on 6th April 2014, 21:11

      Excellent point the one you bring up.

      Have you considered twittering it to James Allen or Jonathan Noble? Somebody of the press needs to rise this issue and bring attention to it.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th April 2014, 23:34

      Maybe they already knew he was pretty much fine from radio communications. The marshals probably only got to him after he’d exited because the race was still only under yellows rather than safety car, and they probably have regulations saying that they don’t get that close to the edge of a track (particularly the outside of a corner) while a race is live.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 7th April 2014, 12:06

        Also, marshals shouldn’t remove him from the car anyway unless for some reason he needs a quick exit (like if there is a fire, in which case we would have surely seen them rush forward as they were probably prepared to do), as otherwise only medical professionals should attend to a driver who hasn’t/presumably can’t leave his car. So their being there wouldn’t have done much except put them in harms way and marginally reduced the time they could have responded to a fire.

    • realsoft said on 7th April 2014, 1:08

      really scary.
      a driver in the crashed car, not moving and nothing happens for a while.

      then after he is luckily out of his car, the safety carcomes very late.
      IMHO, the safety car destroyed this race

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th April 2014, 8:16

      As @matt90 mentions, Guttierez spoke to his team during and after that sommersault. I guess he waited a bit to get out to collect his senses and see where he is, what way he is facing and where to go to, as well as checking whether the car was charged etc @mattb

    • PWP... (@indyf1fan) said on 7th April 2014, 13:14

      Speaking of safety – that new FIA mandated dropped nose scooped him up perfectly…but seriously, what would the result of this collision have been in last year’s car? Was this better or worse. Certainly scary and happy he was able to walk away…

  11. Strontium (@strontium) said on 6th April 2014, 20:56

    Oh please. Seriously Maldonado? Just accept fault instead of making pathetic excuses.

  12. jhr9988 (@rhj8899) said on 6th April 2014, 21:05

    Charles Pic, keep yourself ready, Lotus might need you soon..

  13. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 6th April 2014, 21:13

    Wow Maldonado! Just wow, once again blaming somebody else for your OWN mistake. Stupidado at his worst.

  14. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th April 2014, 21:20

    It’s hard to remember that Paston won a race, beating a 2 time world champion in his own country…

  15. robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 6th April 2014, 21:21

    Irresponsible driver blames everyone but himself. No surprises here.

    What is surprising is just how long this guy with a history of recklessness and anger issues has managed to stay in the sport.

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