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Maldonado must learn to back off, says Mika Salo

Former F1 driver Mika Salo, a race steward at Valencia two weeks ago, says Pastor Maldonado needs to learn when to back off if he's to avoid more penalties.

Mika Salo, a veteran of eight years of F1 competition with teams including Tyrell, Arrows, BAR, Sauber and Ferrari, says that F1's new 'bad boy' Pastor Maldonado needs to learn when to fight and when to back down.

Maldonado was involved in a clash with Sergio Perez early in the British Grand Prix for which he received a reprimand and a 10,000 euro penalty, just two weeks after he was also penalised 20 seconds at Valencia for crashing into Lewis Hamilton and putting the McLaren driver out of the race.

Perez had been furious about this latest incident, which had put him out of the race on Sunday. "He's a very dangerous driver and he can hurt someone," Perez told BBC Sport. "He's just a stupid driver." Maldonado for his part said that the accident had been caused by a problem with losing grip on cold tyres immediately after a pit stop, and that the telemetry from the car supported this.

Salo had been one of the race stewards at Valencia and therefore had recent close-up experience of analysing Maldonado's driving. The Finnish driver told Crash.net that the key to the penalty that Maldonado had received was evidence from an earlier lap.

“If you look at the previous lap, Kimi Raikkonen was in a similar situation and he backed off, not to cause an accident," said Salo.

The problem with Maldonado, then, appears to be the Venezuelan's perceived lack of judgement to know when to give ground with grace.

Such questions started after qualifying for last year's Belgian Grand Prix, during which Maldonado appeared to seek retribution against Lewis Hamilton for earlier contact by ramming into the McLaren on the in-lap. Maldonado seemed to take a similar retaliatory strike against Sergio Perez during qualifying for this year's Monaco GP in May.

Then there was the incident at Valencia, which Maldonado said had been caused by Hamilton's aggressive defending and by his own Williams losing grip when it was forced wide and over the curbing. Add to that the latest incident, which Maldonado blamed on cold tyres and bad luck.

Hamilton has kept out of publicly criticising Maldonado in the media, but that's not been the case with Sauber's Sergio Perez after Silverstone.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.06.2012- Race, Press conference, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
08.07.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
06.07.2012- Free Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
24.06.2012- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
07.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW34
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 with Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
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hiroshi

July 10, 2012 9:29 AM
Last Edited 220 days ago

I doubt PM is going to take note he seems to have a red mist that takes over. Maybe he should have the team count to 10 in his ear while he's trying to make a pass

JAPER - Unregistered

July 10, 2012 1:28 PM

This guy is really dangerous, everybody seems to forget that he already destroyed the life of a worker at Monte Carlo a few years ago, he was even banned to race again there but, money talks. It is a shame, I thought F1 racing was a sport not war. Send him to race at NASCAR.



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