Did the stewards get Maldonado’s penalty right?

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Pastor Maldonado landed in hot water after colliding with Esteban Gutierrez during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Maldonado flipped the Sauber upside down when the pair made contact at turn one on lap 41. The Lotus driver had just emerged from the pits when he hit Gutierrez’s right-rear wheel.

Gutierrez rolled and landed on his wheels. Although he was able to get out of the car he was later taken to hospital for checks.

The stewards held Maldonado responsible for “causing a collision” and gave him three separate penalties: a ten second stop-go penalty during the race, a five-place grid penalty for the next event in China, and a three point endorsement on his licence.

Did the punishment fit the infraction? How do you think the stewards should have responded to the incident?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Maldonado's punishment for the Gutierrez incident was...

  • Far too harsh (4%)
  • Slightly too harsh (9%)
  • Fair (25%)
  • Too soft (36%)
  • Far too soft (26%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 735

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Image © Lotus/LAT

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142 comments on Did the stewards get Maldonado’s penalty right?

  1. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 6th April 2014, 19:14

    For me it’s more of a question of the penalties delivered. We saw Ricciardo getting a 10 place penalty for an unsafe release but then Pastor gets a 5 place penalty for causing what could have been a very nasty accident.

    Not so long ago Roman got a race ban for a similar incident so yet again we are seeing incidents that are getting different penalties.

    Having a guest steward seems to have helped but not enough. The only way I can see us getting consistency is if the FIA appoint a panel of stewards that are the same for every race & not use local stewards. They could still use the guest steward (ex F1 driver) which could be different for each event but the rest are the same race in race out.

    If Pastors crime was as severe as Romans then he should have been given a harsh penalty during the race (10s stop go) and then more points on his licence so being closer to the race ban if it continues.

    I think awarding a penalty during the race with points on his licence is enough but to then give him a penalty for the next race is punishing him twice for the same crime which to me is crazy.

    There was time left in the race to award a penalty so why the need to give him a grid drop for the next race? Crazy

    • LosD (@losd) said on 6th April 2014, 19:35

      The harshness of Ricciardo’s penalty has been well discussed above (in short: Much more dangerous), and you cannot compare the punishments between seasons. The stewards has much more fine-grained tools this season.

      • OOliver said on 6th April 2014, 19:48

        The harshness of Ricciardo’s penalty is deserved even though unfairly so, we’ve seen the effect on a camera man who doesn’t have carbon fiber protection.

        • Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 7th April 2014, 19:53

          fair point but I still think the penalty for the next race is too much as it should be one penalty per incident plus points due to the severity if needed. I would think most people will agree that the stewards decisions and penalties are inconsistent

  2. hobbsy009 (@hobbsy009) said on 6th April 2014, 19:18

    It depends how youre looking at it

    As an incident on its own i’d say its fair

    As part of the 2014 season- other drivers have had harsher punishment for lesser things

    As part as his career- god only knows how he’s still racing

  3. Sven (@crammond) said on 6th April 2014, 19:20

    Hmmm… is this question about whether it´s fair given the rulebook, or whether the corresponding articles of the rulebook are fair, or about some spontaneous feeling of fairness?

    I don´t like grid-drop penalties in general, imho race-weekends shouldn´t be unneccessarily more dependant on another than they are. But I would have given either more than 3 points to him or less than 2 points to all those drivers who had 2-point-awarded-incidents till now.

  4. JenniKate (@jennikate) said on 6th April 2014, 19:30

    I think Maldonado’s penalty was fair. It was a silly incident that could have been a hell of a lot worse so causing him pain in two races, alongside some points on his licence, feels a good way to try and deter drivers from silly mistakes.

    If you compare it to Ricciardo’s then it may seem too light. The problem is it’s nigh on impossible to compare the two incidents. A mistake by the team in the pit lane where where the danger to many people is extremely high vs a driver causing an accident which could have injured another driver. Both dangerous, both bad, both deserving of harsh penalties – but which is worse?

  5. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 6th April 2014, 19:30

    Unlike Daniel Ricciardo’s Malaysian GP pitstop problem, this was a driver’s fault and he endangered another driver, yet the penalty is less. Everyday Bernie, CVC and the FIA are making me want to stop watching with stupid, nonsense decisions that don’t make sense.

  6. minnis (@minnis) said on 6th April 2014, 19:33

    3 penalty points!? Is that it!?

    So, he can do this three more times before he gets a one race ban. Unbelievable!

  7. Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 6th April 2014, 19:37

    No, 3 points for this while Bottas got 2 for getting a little bit in Ricciardo’s way the week before doesn’t quite cut it.

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th April 2014, 19:37

    When Ricciardo gets a ten-place grid penalty for an accident which was not his fault, led to no consequences and already punished him during the race, Maldonado’s grid-drop and penalty points are way too lenient.

  9. f1freek (@f1freek) said on 6th April 2014, 19:38

    This guy is unbelievable. Ide got his super license taken away because of a similar crash, it’s about time they do the same

  10. Bradley Downton (@bradley13) said on 6th April 2014, 19:38

    I think it was too soft, but not far too soft.
    I don’t think the 10 second stop/go should have been issued and instead it should be a 10-place penalty and 4/5 points on his license.
    However given where the team are, a 10-place penalty is a little pointless, so it should have been:
    – No stop/go
    – 5-place grid penalty for China
    – 6 Points on his license

  11. Hapon (@haponat) said on 6th April 2014, 19:38

    All Pastor Maldonado does in the sport is to drive in to other cars and act like nothing happened. Bahrain stewards, please act right and revise your penality(ies) to that amateur driver. He wasn’t fighting for the championship anyway to act so aggressively. AMATEUR!!!

  12. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 6th April 2014, 19:41

    He hasn’t been punished hard enough in my opinion.

    However why on earth are the stewards handing out double penalties, I can’t find anything in the sporting regulations that allow this. Why not just hand out one big penalty when the race is over and give him penalty points on his license.

    He should have been given a ten place grid penalty and at least 7 or 8 points on his liscense for this. This is his fourth season in F1, he should know better.

  13. yihwarang (@yihwarang1) said on 6th April 2014, 19:42

    Hmm………Double point & Triple penalty………………..???

  14. jhr9988 (@rhj8899) said on 6th April 2014, 19:45

    Well, too bad yuji ide didn’t have big sponsor backing as maldonado

  15. Royal-Spark (@royal-spark) said on 6th April 2014, 19:45

    This man’s shaping up to be a bad influence for any young Venezuelan aspiring to be a racing driver in the future.

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