Williams driver fined and reprimanded for his reckless driving at the British Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez incensed after collision with 'stupid' Pastor Maldonado
SILVERSTONE, England // The widely predicted deluge never arrived, but Pastor Maldonado, Williams's crash-prone Venezuelan driver, ensured some sense of normality at the British Grand Prix by once more being involved in a controversial collision.
The 27 year old has been heavily criticised for his reckless driving style since entering the high-risk, high-reward world of Formula One last season. Yesterday, under a dark cloud at Silverstone Circuit, Maldonado was in the spotlight again after ending Mexican Sergio Perez's race.
The FIA, world motor sport's governing body, reprimanded and fined Maldonado €10,000 (Dh45,128), adding that two penalties had been applied due to the serious nature of the incident with the Sauber driver, who vented his anger to television broadcasters after being forced to return to the pits prematurely.
"He tried to push me off the track," Perez said. "[He] is a stupid driver and shouldn't be here. I'm not the only driver who has had their race ruined by him. Everybody has concerns about him.
"I don't understand why he drives like that and I hope the stewards do something.
"This guy will never learn if they don't do something. He could hurt someone."
Mark Gillan, Williams' chief operations engineer, said the team considered the accident a racing incident and refused to accept Maldonado had made a mistake. They did, however, accept the reprimand. Maldonado dismissed Perez's criticism.
"In that moment I was coming out of the pit with cold tyres," he said. "I was on the inside of the corner, so it was mine, Sergio was outside trying to take the position from me. I tried to defend and lost the rear of the car and we bumped tyres. It was disappointing. 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."
Maldonado unexpectedly won his first grand prix in Barcelona earlier this season, but has been involved in more moments of despair than moments of joy.
In Australia, at the opening race of the year, he clashed with Romain Grosjean, forcing the Lotus driver to retire.
In Monaco, he was given a 10-place grid penalty for apparently deliberately sliding into the side of Perez. And at last month's European Grand Prix in Valencia, on the penultimate lap, he collided into Lewis Hamilton of McLaren-Mercedes, ending the Briton's race.
Maldonado was not the only driver given a monetary penalty by the FIA. Kamui Kobayashi, Perez's teammate, was handed a €25,000 fine after crashing into his pit-stop crew during the race. The Japanese braked too late when coming in for his second stop and knocked down three mechanics. The FIA fined him for an "unsafe manouevre".
Kobayashi said: "Of course I had to push hard for points, but without doubt I braked too late in the pit lane. The front wheels locked, I couldn't control the car, and this is how I overshot the pit box. I am terribly sorry this happened, and I hope the three mechanics I hit get well soon."