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. Ben said on 6th April 2014, 22:32

    I think this penalty is far too soft.

    In my opinion that was a serious incident and totally avoidable, and given Maldonado’s history of incidents he should have been dealt with a much harder punishment. This guy is too hot headed, and he just doesn’t seem to learn from his incidents… Grosjean when he was given his ban in 2012, at least he has learnt his lesson, Pastor just doesn’t learn, doesn’t use his head.

    Yes he’s a good driver to a point, not a great one, if he only learnt from his past mistakes and calm down a little, he may get some decent results when the car is good. I often see a lot of similarities between him and Jean Alesi, both very good on their day, but often too hot headed at times, and Pastor it’s 9 times out of 10 he doesn’t use his head properly.

    The way this guy is, he is a danger to himself and to the other drivers on the grid, those penalties in my view are too soft.
    In my opinion he should have been shown the black flag in the race. 3 points on his licence and a grid drop is a joke, as it was totally stupid and avoidable, he won’t even learn fro it. he should have been handed a 1 race ban for it, and stuck on a warning under probation for a few races with a view to revoking his super licence if he causes any more incidents.

    This guy is a waste of a Grand Prix seat…plenty of other drivers out there are more deserving of a chance than this crash prone nutter in his 4th rookie season.
    “Mirror signal Maldonado”

  2. Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 6th April 2014, 22:53

    I think everyone who is saying it was too far should see what and why people are after him. Romain did it and got a 1 race ban. He has improved much, and so everyone generally assumed that it would work for Pastor too. On this very site, there are so many calling him different names even before this race like Stupidaldo. In his 4 years, he has been famous for accidents. This was not a racing accident. He should have been careful and that is his fault.

    God-forbid, but if something had happened to Esteban, I am sure the voices would be different.

  3. Shimks (@shimks) said on 6th April 2014, 22:54

    I voted for “far too harsh”.

    Three penalties for one infraction? The stewards had a knee-jerk reaction to the result of the insident, not the cause.

    A 10 second stop-go penalty was enough: causing a collision.

    Maldonado may have been involved in many incidents before, but they were all punished or not, as was seen fit at the time. His penalty for this Sunday’s infringement should not be multiplied because of past infringements nor because of the fact Gutierrez’s car flipped dangerously. He wasn’t going at high speed, and although his mistake was stupid, it wasn’t recklessly dangerous.

  4. AmbroseRPM (@ambroserpm) said on 6th April 2014, 23:06

    Where’s the ban? I’d prefer to see Pic in the car. What a tool. He could have killed GUT!

  5. Calum (@mazzaf1) said on 6th April 2014, 23:08

    As an isolated incident the penalty fits, although I’d probably recommend more penalty points instead of the ineffective stop-go penalty, but as we all know – it isn’t the first car Pastor has crashed into – even today he apparently collided with Vergne although I haven’t seen any footage of that so can’t comment. To think that Yuji Ide had his super license revoked after causing a similar incident with Albers in Imola and some other infringements over the space of four races – Maldonado’s record of continuous infringements over several seasons and now this… does make you wonder how he remains on the grid at times

  6. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 6th April 2014, 23:16

    Stop messing with the grids all the time. Just give him more penalty points – 9 or 10 so it’s a final warning.

  7. Jack said on 6th April 2014, 23:20

    Im very suprised that also Massa and Vettel didnt have to take trips up to the Stewards about forcing Perez off for Massa and Vettel on Massa but its only 5 places cus Maldonado won’t qualify higher thean 17th anyway

  8. Ryan (@rgbargie) said on 6th April 2014, 23:35

    Maldonado does this time and time again. At least Grosjean has learned from his mistakes and looks a more complete driver now (obviously with a decent car, unlike this season). Maldonado should not be in Formula 1 at all.

  9. Roland Deschain (@f12014sucks) said on 6th April 2014, 23:48

    How is 3 points worthy of that penalty? That’s just 1 point more than Bianchi or Sutil. Though the grid penalty is even more laughable since he qualifies in the back every race anyway. Just saying.

  10. Travis (@mcmerctn) said on 7th April 2014, 0:15

    This one was Pastor’s fault, but I didn’t see any malicious intent, and Esteban’s flip seemed more like a freak circumstance than the norm when such contact is made between open wheel racecars. If anything, I’d take away Pastor’s grid penalty and add a couple more points to his license, but only because this is far from his first incident.

  11. Broke84 (@broke84) said on 7th April 2014, 0:24

    Ok, so I rarely get irked enough to write a comment on this website but Maldonado’s behaviour is unacceptable, you can see that Guittierez decides to miss the apex to give Maldonado space and yet Mal carries so much speed into that corner that no one has a chance. If it was just that one incident then fair enough but it happens time and time again and pre f1 too. The gp2 race where he crashes into an already crashed car with marshalls only just getting out of the way springs to mind. What makes me more angry is that I’m a marshall, and with this guy around it is only a matter of time before he actually kills someone. Grosjean deserved his ban from spa alone, a lot of the other crashes were not his fault. How is it that Mal does it over and over and seems to get away with it?

  12. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 7th April 2014, 0:28

    About fair. If Gutierrez hadn’t flipped it would just be another avoidable accident, with a bit of extra stupidity thrown in.

  13. Breno (@austus) said on 7th April 2014, 1:24

    He took 3 penalty points. Does that mean everyone gets to flip three cars with no bans?

  14. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 7th April 2014, 1:31

    Crashanldo’s penalty should be to never drive a race car, but then again he’s entertainment for F1.

  15. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 7th April 2014, 1:34

    Is anyone keeping a tally for the cost of the hardware he has damaged over his F1 career? I would think that’s a record no one can match.

  16. Romesh82 (@romesh82) said on 7th April 2014, 2:35

    He should have been banned at least for one race.. He is not good enough for F1. He has money but he does not have what it takes to to be a F1 driver. Simply his super licemnce should be revoked.

  17. batwing said on 7th April 2014, 2:50

    Didn’t Grosjean wipe out like 4 cars in Spa back in the day? So why are we comparing that to this incident. Look I’m neutral on Maldondo but you are comparing two completely different incidents. I don’t remember Pastor actually making 4 cars retire on the spot like Grosjean did.

    The penalties shouldn’t be based on a driver’s reputation. So that means a driver like Vettel who does the same thing gets a leaner penalty? It should be about what happened on the track.

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 7th April 2014, 2:57

    Look at Bottas – the guy went off track to avoid a collision with Raikonnen and lost another position.

    Couldn’t Maldonado veer left just go straight when he saw that? It’s amazing – it just shows you how responsible a driver who was a rookie last year and how irresponsible a GP winner can be…

  19. It seems clear that the majority here holds Pastor in very low regard. However, that shouldn’t affect our judgement. The triple punishment is way over the top because it is highly inconsistent. In reality all Pastor did in this case was to opportunistically stick his nose in a bit too far. Sure, it cause a big crash-bang but honestly you will find it hard to point to a single race where someone doesn’t do the same. Magnussen caused Raikkonen’s puncture in the same way last week and received a short stop’n’go. Lewis has done ti too many times to even count them and rarely been punished at all. Whatever Pastor has done int he past or how arrogant he can come across in an interview it doesn’t mean that he should be hit harder than anyone else.

    What is really inconsistent in regards to just this very race is Sutil getting away with what could have no other possible explanation than pure vengeance! That has no place on a race track and should be punished hard and swift.

  20. Bleu (@bleu) said on 7th April 2014, 10:34

    If this was just single incident, then it probably would be right. But with Maldonado’s history and comparison to other penalty point events it was too soft.

    Penalty points should be something like this.
    3 grid spots/5 seconds = 1 point
    5 grid spots/drive through = 2 points
    10 grid spots/stop/go = 3 points
    Disqualification = 5 points

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