@fer-no65 – I find it incredibly difficult to see how it was a deliberate move myself. When Maldonado hit Hamilton at Spa, he did it because he felt Hamilton had robbed him of the chance to set a better qualifying time, since Hamilton squeezed him off the dry racing line. The resulting collision was revenge, and the stewards agreed – they reprimanded Hamilton for his role in it, even though it wasn’t Hamilton’s intention to provoke Maldonado. But here, Sergio Perez didn’t do anything to provoke Maldonado. That’s the big problem with the “Maldonado did it on purpose” argument: if it was intentional, then he needed a reason to do it.
Also, the McLaren behind them (I think it might be Button rather than Hamilton) doesn’t actually take the racing line. He saw them make contact – or guessed that they were about to – and deliberately went a little wide to avoid being caught up in it. The actual racing line is much closer to Button’s position than it is to Maldonado’s.
The corner in question here is already blind. With Sergio Perez travelling slowly on the inside of the approach to the corner, he was further obscuring it, and so I think Maldonado may have had to guess where the actual turn-in point was and misjudged it.
Having watched the videos dozens of times, I feel that Maldonado had no reason to deliberately crash into Perez. To be perfectly honest, I think a lot of people are judging him on Spa rather than on what happened here, because they felt the stewards’ response in Belgium was not enough. If Spa had not happened, nobody would be demanding that Maldonado be suspended here.
The point I’m trying to make is that both Maldonado and Suranovich were idiots. But Suranovich was the bigger idiot. Where there is a plausible explanation for Maldonado having simply made a mistake – call it reasonable doubt – there is no such case for Suranovich. He ignored black-and-orange flags for as many as three laps, continued driving at race speeds with a terminally-damaged car, and weaved multiple times across the circuit. The end result was that Conor Daly was launched into the air, with the only thing standing between the car and a fatal injury to someone being the catch fence. Maldonado, on the other hand, was involved in a low-speed collision with another car that posed no immediate danger to anyone, and which I feel can reasonably be explained as driver error as the position of Perez’s car made it harder to see the apex of Portier. Furthermore, I can find no evidence of deliberate intent in Maldonado’s actions, whereas Suranovich’s choice to ignore the flags and continue racing with a damaged car speak to his intent to race on.
And yet, in all of this, there is a deafening chorus of calls for Maldonado to be banned from Formula 1, but nobody is demanding Suranovich’s head. If anybody deserves to have their racing licence suspended, it is Dmitry Suranovich.