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Maldonado defends Ericsson move

NEWS STORY
22/11/2015

Pastor Maldonado has defended the move in Brazil on Marcus Ericsson which earned him a time penalty.

Running as high as sixth at one stage, Maldonado, one of only two drivers to start on the prime tyres, was battling Ericsson for 13th (ironically), when he opted to make a Verstappen-type move on the Swede in Turn 1.

Unfortunately, the Lotus driver, not being Verstappen, made a complete pig's ear of it and the two clashed, causing Ericsson's to spin and effectively ending his race in the process.

"Pastor made a move on me into Turn 1," said the Swede. "It was just too late, he hit the back of my car, spun me around and we had to pit to check for damage. I lost around 30 to 40 seconds and, obviously, the race was then compromised."

Handed a 5s time penalty, and another penalty point, bringing his total for the current 12-month period to six, the Venezuelan eventually finished eleventh. However, Massa's subsequent disqualification saw the Lotus driver promoted to tenth, thereby taking the final point.

Far from being contrite however, Maldonado, who has built a worrying reputation for such rash moves, has defended his manoeuvre.

"There's a saying that rubbing's racing," he said. "In Formula 1 it sometimes feels like you get penalised for every bit of contact. I went for a gap that was there - and we all want to see overtaking in Formula 1 - and he closed the gap whilst defending his position.

"I saw it as a racing incident, and on a corner like turn one in Brazil the driver on the outside will usually come off worse. We spoke after the race and all's fine between us. I think pretty much the same would have happened if positions were reversed and he had tried the same move on me."

As we said, Maldonado has history, and whilst he might have seen it as a "racing incident", the stewards – not for the first time – clearly did not.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Leo, 23/11/2015 6:46

"I think Maldonado is right on this occasion. Ericsson had quite a lot of space left to play with and instead cut accross the Lotus. I guess Pastor was penalised on reputation for this one."

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2. Posted by gturner38, 23/11/2015 4:23

"Yes, Pastor, the results would have been the same if Marcus had come from way too far back and allowed his car to slide out into your left rear. The difference is that he wouldn't have made that move. As for "rubbing is racing," that only works if you have fenders and even then, there's a difference between rubbing and punting."

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3. Posted by Celtictiger, 22/11/2015 21:28

"The refusal to even entertain the idea that his driving is sloppy and at times dangerous is what makes Maldonado a huge risk to share the track with. Also, handing out penalty points to him is nothing since this penalty point system is such a joke."

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4. Posted by stigman, 22/11/2015 16:25

"The author is clearly a fan of Verstappen and not the least of Maldonado. This is not to defend Maldonado in Brazil, though I believe there was some racing involved, and find it a shame when stewards are always trying to prevent racing in a race.

For the record, Verstappen has made some pretty pig headed moves as well. And also for the record, though Maldonado does have a reputation for ripping up carbon fibre, he HAS won an F1 race. Verstappen can't boast the same...yet."

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