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French Grand Prix
Maldonado escapes with small fine and reprimand after Perez collision
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Jul 2012   |  6:17 pm GMT  |  267 comments

Pastor Maldonado was handed only a €10,000 euro fine by race stewards at Silverstone, despite calls from Sergio Perez, the driver he took out of the race, for them to take strong action against the Venezuelan.

Maldonado and Perez collided on lap 11 as Perez tried to pass the Williams around the outside at Brooklands corner. Maldonado appeared to drive outwards, towards the Sauber and they touched, spinning both off the race track and Perez into retirement.

This followed the incident in Valencia where Maldonado took Lewis Hamilton out in the closing stages of the race, for which he was given a 20 second penalty added to his race time.

The stewards’s statement at Silverstone acknowledged the “serious nature of the incident” but gave him only the fine and a reprimand. The penalty fell well short of the grid penalty for the next race which many in F1 felt was the minimum Maldonado should receive, given his recent track record.

Perez was furious with the Venezuelan after this latest incident, calling him “stupid” in media interviews and claiming that many drivers feel he should not be in F1 with all the incidents in which he has “ruined other people’s races.”

“Pastor, he’s a driver who doesn’t respect other drivers,” Perez said. “It’s just a manner of fact. I was already in front and he should have given enough space not to crash. I don’t understand the way he is driving.

“I hope the stewards do something because he has done something to someone at the last three races,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “He’s a very dangerous driver and he can hurt someone. Everybody is concerned about him. He’s a driver who doesn’t respect, doesn’t know we are risking our lives and has no respect at all. I really think the stewards need to do something by now because I’m not the only one he has affected.”

Maldonado said, “It was an unlucky race for me and that is it. Sergio can say what he wants. We are racing, we are trying to do our best. I was trying to defend, he was trying to gain and this is racing.”

Meanwhile the stewards fined Kamui Kobayashi €25,000 for driving into his own pit crew, because it was ” a very dangerous manoeuvre which had potentially serious implications.”

What do you think? Are these the right penalties for the incidents and are they consistent?

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I’m not sure why everyone is so upset with Maldonado. Just yesterday I was playing Gran Turismo, bouncing off of cars going around me on the outside. It’s a great manoeuvre. I ended up taking 1st at Suzuka. Try as I may, I couldn’t take out my pit crew though.

Okay, don’t slag me…. just taking the piss :p


Hugo Chavez and Pastor Maldanado:

One is an unhinged South American who dishes out swift and cruel justice to crush all potential threats to their dominant position… and the other is the President of Venezuela!


An both have the support of the majority of Venezuelans!


Wow 213 comments, PM gets under people’s skins! The penalty on KK was harsh, a reprimand was all that was necessary. I think PM was lucky not to be penalised more harshly for the collision he was involved in with SP in Monaco. As for Sunday’s crash I think the penalty was fair, if SP’ car had been half a length a head at the point of impact that would have looked really bad for PM. The penalty he got at the European GP was also fair, it was near the end of the race he made a good move but chose to go wide, he did not have to go off the track. When he was coming back on to it he should have done so with greater care. It was a heated exchange between PM and LH but the crash was PM’s fault but it did not warrant a more severe punishment. The argument that LH should have conceded is ridiculous. There were two laps to go he had to all he could within the rules to keep him behind, which he did. The car-banging PM did in Belgium last year was bad and deserved to be punished more severely than the five grid place penalty he got for that. He will have to wise up a bit. He reminds me a bit like LH last year, there the comparison ends. LH was F1 champion in 2008 and has won many races. I hope PM learns to calm down a bit.


Has to be said, there is something slightly disproportionate in the calls for Maldonado to be banned as a result of one of the least dangerous incident he’s been involved in. The BBC team were unanimous in calling it a racing incident, and while I can’t speak for Sky (not a subscriber) I would imagine they viewed it the same way. Calls for him to be punished simply because of previous incidents unrelated to the race in question smacks somewhat of subjective justice – it’s a generally accepted principle that a person is held to account for their conduct, not their reputation, and the same should apply here.

If taking previous incidents into account is a desired outcome, however, may I suggest the FIA does so by reintroducing penalty points onto the licence? Most of the British championships have such a provision and under the totting-up process automatic race bans kick in once the limit (12) is reached. It would certainly make drivers think more about their conduct, and given it would require a much more comprehensive set of regulations in terms of how to apply penalties we may well also end up with a more consistent system.


It is incredible how in two months Maldonado wasted all the social capital and goodwill he gained from the “fell good” Williams victory.

Then again, Williams showed with Hulkenberg how little such things matter to the team. Were it not for PDVSA money…


I admit, I’m completely biased on this. There have been some F1 drivers I’ve liked, some I admired, some I didn’t like and there has only ever been one F1 driver I have no respect for: Maldonado. It sounds like the incident at Silverstone was more of a racing incident than anything else, however looking at Maldonado’s (or Maldonado’h) history, he is reckless, dangerous, unapologetic and completely unsporting. As far as I’m concerned he should not be in F1. It takes more than being quick to be a F1 driver. Let’s not forget that he was banned for “life” in Monaco. Money talks so loud.


there must be consistency in terms of rules being implemented and rules being interpreted. Michael got a grid penalty of 5 places.


‘Meanwhile the stewards fined Kamui Kobayashi €25,000 for driving into his own pit crew, because it was a very dangerous manoeuvre which had potentially serious implications.’

The world has gone mad.

It’s not like he suddenly decided to wipe out his entire pit crew in a fit of rage is it? He made a mistake, unlike Maldonado who has twice purposely rammed drivers on track, at speed, just because he was annoyed.


Carlos Marques

Driver fines should be a % of their salary + sponsorship money. This latest incident should have cost Maldonado (and Williams) 10% of his salary. Keep crashing and the % goes up to 20 and 25% in subsequent fines. That will make him think twice, or it will make Williams think twice…


Maldonado is agressive, on and off track. After the race he was interviewed by Fox Sport Latin (Buenos Aires) and simply denied any responsibility. He added that “Perez reacts always so aggressive, he is just like that. Too aggressive.”

Says a lot about the thinking of señor Pastor Maldonado. Even off track he cannot deal with others without crashing into them.


During yesterday’s race it was good to see the quality of some drivers, overtaking or faced with being overtaken, giving a little respect to the other party involved and both coming out of it with bodywork and integrity intact…and then we have Crash Bandicoot Maldonado, whose judgement seems questionable at the best of times, wrecking innocent drivers’ races…he puts himself in that position on the track, not the other driver, and it’s about time they decided what they want, decent racing or wreckless driving…


I do agree with Kamui’s penalty, being aggressive in the pit lane or pit box it up to the mechanics not the driver.

It seems that ever since the introduction of driver stewards there has been very little consistency in regards to penalties. I thought the driver steward was only there to give a drivers view of what the driver was thinking, seeing or trying to accomplish at the time of an infraction and nothing else.

Do the driver stewards really have any power in the decisions that are made?

What ever happened to the days when a penalty had real meaning, 10 second stop and go or a race ban or even a points taken away (ie. Shummi 1997)?


Looks like that sole win went to his head – thinking he’s a lot better than he (currently) actually is. He’s becoming a 2010s version of Juan Pablo Montoya… albeit a lot less lkeable.


Within the current regulations does the punishment of race ban still exist?

A financial punishment to teams or drivers, irrespective of value has no impact on the fans. A punishment for impacting “the show” should be something that influences “the show”

I’m no fan of Pastor, but recognise his place in F1. He is aggressive, but so are other drivers. He is just simply another element teams and drivers must cope with on track.

I saw an article over the weekend in which the FIA stated that both Lewis and Fernando could have been disqualified from Valencia / Canada for rule infringements. they escaped penalty because the other teams did not protest. This is crazy. If a driver breaks a rule they should be punished. Yes some of the rules are stupid. (like not being allowed to pick up a flag) but only when the rule is enforced will it be reviewed and modified. For example Montréal 2011 lead to a maximum run time for a race, I have no doubt Silverstone 2012 qualifying will lead to a new rule on qualifying delays.

The penalty system desperately needs an overhaul.


I envisage a time in the very near future when we are going to hear the following message over a driver radio:

Race Engineer(Re): “..He is behind you..”

Driver: “Where?”

RE: “Behind you”

Driver: “Can’t See him”

Re: “Go Left , get out of the way, go”

Driver: “ooops, too late”


while watching the (I think) 2006 season round up on Sky recently I was surprised to hear a very similar conversation between Takuma Sato and his race engineer at the start of a GP. Taku’s engineer was saying “car to your left, move right” and so on!


It seems that Pastor Maldanado is acting like a spoilt child “”This is my line”” you are not to overtake me!!.

P.S: James one question related to the fines, to whom does the fine amount go to, is it the FIA or the FOM and how to they use this fine money?. Also what compromise is given to the victims?.Assuming sauber is fighting for 6th in the WCC where williams is already there, and since they dont want sauber to get the position can they just ask P.M to cause these types of Problems?. Also assuming that the 6th Place will get a few millions more and a 12K USD is nothing.




This is the Pastor Maldonado I was always expecting to see in F1, right back from when I first became aware of him through the World Series by Renault and his Minardi test. He’s always been quick enough for Formula 1 – you don’t drive Monaco as well as he does without being good – but his hot-headedness has always been apparent, too.

None of the accidents he has been involved with have been particularly bad, but they’ve all been badly conceived, clumsily executed and would basically have required the other driver to jump right out of his way. For Pastor, the red mist seems to descend when he closed up on another car and he has to learn to take a step back, look at the long view and plan where, when and how to make his move.

With that in mind, I don’t think he’s going to learn very much from a fine that melts into insignificance given the size of his financial backing. Personally, I would’ve liked to see him given a suspended one race ban. That certainly would give him pause for thought next time he’s sizing up an overtake.

For Kobayashi’s incident in the pits, I’m really not sure what the stewards think a fine will achieve. Hitting your pitbox on worn and unpredictable tyres is tricky and Kamui will need to take that into account in future. Knocking down three team members will drive that home far more effectively than a fine ever could, so I don’t see the point in giving him anything more than a reprimand. In this instance, the crime was punishment enough.


Am I the only person to notice that Maldonado is actually the spirit of Tazio Nuvolari reincarnate?



Given his history of unacceptable incidents, I would have given Maldonado a one race ban after Valencia with a warning that a three race ban would follow for any further transgressions.

Obviously Perez must be wishing Maldonado had missed Silverstone but an incident like this latest one with Sergio would now bring the three race ban into effect.

Williams have some serious decisions to make about their driver line up for 2013.

Maldonado brings a lot of money to the team but his behaviour on track is doing nothing for the image of the team or that of Venezuela.

On the other hand, Sir Frank has so much experience with drivers it must be possible for him to sort the problem out.

As for Senna, there is plenty of talk about driver changes for 2013 but nobody is mentioning Senna.

Despite some improvement in recent form, he is not really delivering for the team.

With a much more competitive car, it looks like Sir Frank could attract and benefit from having at least one quick, experienced driver.

I can’t see Di Resta leaving Force India for Williams but if Ferrari does go ahead and drop Massa, surely he has to be in the frame for a Williams seat ?

Let’s not forget that with a good pilot like Glock wasting his skills at the back of the field and Heidfeld and Sutil without drives at all, there are no shortage of other options.

With hindsight, why on earth did they take Senna rather than keep Rubens ?


Perhaps there is something explosive about South Americans??


One would think repeatingly scoring no points/DNFs would be enough for somebody intelligent to learn.

James McNulty

I would love to know what Maldonado was like as a little kid, I bet he has no concept of sharing. I bet at school sports day he would trip up his opponents in the sprint if he was loosing!

Maldanado needs to accept there will be some instances when he will get overtaken. There are some fights you cannot win. Sometimes you have to yield. I clever driver would realise this. Looks at Alonso being overtaken on Sunday by Webber, they both survived!

If Maldonado was in Alonso’s place he would rather have taken both himself and Webber out rather than loose the lead.

Maldonado has no respect for his fellow drivers, he comes across extremely arrogant in my view.

If he is to continue with his Napoleonic arrogance I hope he starts receiving his comeuppance and doesn’t hurt anyone in the process!


Oil talks…..


It is completely different with this guy. He does not respect any other road user. See below for proof that this guy shouldnt be in a racecar period

Racing in the Renault World Series in 2005, the then 25-year-old ignored yellow flags before striking and severely injuring a marshal.

Organisers of the Monaco grand prix reacted by banning Maldonado from the street circuit for life.

Germany’s Bild revealed that Maldonado’s wealthy father intervened, promising to pay for the marshal’s recovery and rehabilitation from a broken back.

The guy is a complete liability and should be banned

Craig in Manila

Fines should not be a part of the penalties.

The driver/team just pays it and that’s that.

For dangerous/reckless driving, penalty should be loss of DRS&KERS for next race/s as it’ll mean that other drivers can avoid any aggro by simply driving by on the straights.

It should also be mandatory that all overtaking drivers give him a little wave as they drive past.


Meaningless fines… Does the FIA NOT read the fans’ comments or take any feedback into account??? This inconsistency is truly (not Trulli:)!) hurting F1…

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