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Bahrain F1 Grand Prix: Maldonado penalised for Gutierrez clash

Pastor Maldonado picked up an additional penalty following his late-race clash with Esteban Gutierrez in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Pastor Maldonado has been punished for his part in the accident that sent Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez into a somersault in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Venezuelan was exiting the pits when he made contact with Gutierrez at turn one, the second-year driver having already turned into the corner. Although the nose of Maldonado's Lotus hit the sidepod of the Sauber, it was a clash of tyres that sent the Mexican into a roll, bouncing off his roll hoop before coming to rest on back on his wheels.

Fortunately, neither driver was hurt in the incident – indeed, Maldonado made it to the end of the race after a stop-go penalty – but the stewards took a dim view of the circumstances and decided that further punishment was required.

Having received a report from the race director and examined video evidence, the officials – with the expert eye of Derek Warwick this weekend – decided to impose an additional five-place grid penalty on Maldonado for the Chinese Grand Prix later this month, and placed three points on his licence. The points are Maldonado's first of the season, but count towards the twelve maximum he can accrue before a one-race ban is triggered.

After emerging slowly from his wrecked car, Gutierrez was taken to a local hospital for routine checks but was reported to have escaped injury and should be fit to take part in the next round in Shanghai.

Jules Bianchi also had points applied to his licence – a two-point punishment doubling his tally for the year – after being found guilty of causing a collision with Adrian Sutil at turn one. The Frenchman was able to limp back to the pits with a damaged corner before rejoining, but Sutil's miserable weekend ended on the spot. Again, neither driver was injured in the clash.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
05.04.2014- Free practice 3, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
05.04.2014- Free practice 3, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team, E22
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April 06, 2014 7:51 PM

I just think back to Dan's 10 place grid penalty for an innocuous wheel nut problem, & can't help wondering how hitting another car and causing it to roll justifies just a 5 place grid drop?

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