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?

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  1. RV (@zenren) said on 7th April 2014, 12:24

    It takes 12 penalty points to get a race ban and Maldonado got 3 from this incident. So, can he repeat it three more times before he gets a race ban? He has not admitted that it was his fault and there is no reason to believe he would be more responsible from now on.

    There is another point to be noted. Gutierrez had Rosberg behind him and was to move off the racing line due to blue flags. Blue flag applies to Maldonado too and he shouldn’t have been over aggressive in that corner when the lead pack/driver is lapping them. Lotus should also be investigated for unsafe release from pits to put Maldonado directly into the path of Rosberg and not directing MAL to let Rosberg pass.

    The replays show Rosberg in the background during the incident.

  2. maxthecat said on 7th April 2014, 12:53

    It was clearly Maldonaldos’ fault. He could see the Sauber all the way down the pit lane, he was just trying to jump him.

  3. you know, Maldonado should get a two race ban at least. He is a danger to the other drivers, he can’t drive to save his life (choosing these words rather than the choice ones I would like to use) and his attitude to this incident was nothing short of a joke.. I think the FIA should ban him from racing in this sport if he is going to
    – smash into another driver that hard, it makes the car do what every safety device on them things prevents it from doing
    – has an attitude about it like a 12 year old
    – and having caused incidents that put people’s lives at risk repeatedly before.
    But this is my opinion, the FIA have theirs and we have our own.

  4. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th April 2014, 15:32

    At least now we know what the twin tusks are for. Did anyone else think “Robot Wars”? ;)
    (i realise it was the tyre contact that caused the flip btw)

    Joking aside it was quite serious though, glad Gutierrez is ok. It’s a shame the penalty points system has only been implemented now, otherwise Maldonado would certainly have been banned already. Hope he isn’t in F1 for much longer, but unfortunately too many teams need his oil money so i can see him staying for a while…

  5. Race exclusion.

  6. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 7th April 2014, 18:03

    I think I will write a letter to FIA. Ricciardo’s penalty is very harsh, otherwise Maldonado’s one is too soft, he deserves at least a ban for the next race.

  7. DaveW (@dmw) said on 7th April 2014, 18:57

    Slightly of topic but was anyone else alarmed by how long it took safety workers to reach Guttieriez? It’s not like it was a remote part of the track. He just sat in the car by himself for what seemed like a minute and eventually just got out himself. First of all, there should ahve been fire bottles at the ready in several seconds there. The car flipped and was heavily damaged. Second, a driver who has been in a roll over probably should not be getting out himself, due to high risk of possible neck or spinal injury or concussion.

  8. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 8th April 2014, 3:55

    If it’s a team error, such as a lose wheel in the pit lane, why not penalise the team by taking their constructor points and leave the driver alone? (So long as the driver didn’t jump the lollypop or contribute to the loose wheel.) The driver is penalised enough by losing time surely.

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