Double penalty for Maldonado after Spa incidents

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado will lose ten places on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Williams driver was handed two five-placed penalties following the Belgian Grand Prix.

They were for jumping the start and causing a collision with Timo Glock at the restart which led to Maldonado’s retirement.

Maldonado received a total of three penalties during the race weekend having been docked three places on the grid for impending Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying.

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image © Williams/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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116 comments on “Double penalty for Maldonado after Spa incidents”

  1. Well this is a little bit surprising. I thought crash with Glock might be problem but jump start itself is out of question when he retired. Anyway I think this is reasonably fair even though not match with my expectation.

  2. Incredible that Grosjean got a ban before this guy did.

    1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
      2nd September 2012, 17:35

      Maldonado crushed a lot, that is true. But I don’t recall he could really injure another guy. Incidents with Pastor were simple racing incidents. No doubt, it is supposed he will get fair penalties. To my mind, we can’t compare what Grosjean did today to Maldonado deeds. Grosjean almoust took the life of Alonso, besides, he took off several pilots. As I said, I don’t remember Pastor making such mistakes.

      1. The severity of the mistake is a different thing to the severity of the crash. Maldonado has had much worse mistakes (you can even say some weren’t mistakes, because there was some intent) which, luckily, haven’t affected many other drivers.

        You should look at how severe the driver’s mistake was, not how severe the consequences of it. If a situation arises where I spin out my car and crash it, with some part of it flying off and hitting another driver, injuring him severely, should I even be penalised?

        1. Severity is always a factor in a penalty. If you spin your car on the road and hit another, you will be cited for causing an accident. If the other driver dies as a result of the contact, you will be cited for manslaughter, and the penalty will be much worse. For the same, identical loss of control and car contact. That’s the way it works. Always has.

          1. Racing and driving on the roads are different things.

          2. However, the past decisions of the FIA show that, as an analogy, he is correct.

            Which is not to say that I do or do not agree.

      2. It’s the attitude that needs to be corrected though; Grosjean swerved across on the grid, as many other drivers do, and was unfortunate to cause a dangerous pile-up. Just because Maldonado hasn’t caused a massive pile-up yet doesn’t mean that his arrogant/careless behaviour should be allowed to continue.

        Hopefully Grosjean will learn his lesson, but what it will take for Maldonado to learn, I don’t know.

    2. Keep in mind he’s been involved in a lot of first lap incidents this year (not saying all were his fault) and the one in Monaco was extremely similar to this one, it just didn’t end as serious. I’m not trying to justify it, I like grosjean, I’m just saying I could understand the stewards decision.

    3. +1. Maldonado is one of the most dangerous drivers I have seen in F1. Surprised he hasn’t been banned this season.

      1. Maybe is because the amount of Money that Chavez (PDVSA) inyects to Williams and the show of course.

    4. I think Maldonado should have gotten a race ban last year in Spa, and maybe again because of his Monaco antics, might have thought him a lesson.

      1. Completely agree. Tbh, At least 2 race bans is completely understandable. Maybe it would wind this lunatic in a bit!

  3. Surely a race ban is incoming given how often he gets involved?

    1. Maybe if he wipes out multiple championship contenders at the same time, considering the reasoning for Grosjean’s ban.

      1. I think that comment does a disservice to your usual commenting intellect.

        1. @Mike I think @Slr is referring to this part of the reasoning for Grosjean’s ban issued by the stewards:

          It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.

          Several people have drawn attention to it in the comments and I agree it is strange the stewards should consider the fact that championship contenders were involved is in any way relevant to what sort of penalty Grosjean should get.

    2. He’s owed one but they’ve missed the chance to do it by now. Although, given the apparently reasoning behind Grosjean’s penalty I think that if one of the teams can prove via simulation that had Maldonado not jumped the start then the pile-up wouldn’t have happened, that would be a good enough reason for the stewards to ban him for Monza. And Maldo’s would be deserved, so I’d be all for it!

  4. Seems harsh to give a penalty at the following race for a jump start.

    1. If he had got a drive through for it straight away he’d have been put at the back of the field so in that sense he’s actually came off quite lightly and they can’t not punish it because he didnt finish this race so it’d have to carry over.

      1. Then becareful he will crash again when he overtakes more driver back to the front, so the drive through penalty is USELESS!

    2. Then consider it as a 10 place for the crash, he still deserves it … And that’s modifying the race itself having a car not at his place, the penalty is justified to me

  5. Absurd! Grosjean gets race ban, and Maldonado everytime gets 10 place or less harsh penalty, though he is crashing at everyone he sees.

    1. maldonado is the 50million dollar man! Frank Williams would fight tooth and nail for any and all leniancy!

      1. frank william may have told maldanado to prove his worth …but i guess maldanado forgets it mean after the lights go green

    2. I’m no Maldona-d’oh fan, but you have to take the severity of the mistake into account. Grosjean was responsible for taking 4 cars out of contention in 1 corner with what can be described as the most rash, aggressive and blindingly stupid move I’ve seen in the recent past.

      But then again, given the near perfect consistency with which maldonado cocks up in every single race on the calendar (and in demonstrations off of it :D), he deserves some serious knuckle-whacking. The fact that he NEVER admits fault gets me really scared. He just doesn’t seem to learn at all.

      1. And now he doesn’t even gets the coolest penalties of them all, oh boy he is going to claim that back ! But I think he still contender to the most car crash even he only can manage one a the time…
        Seriously being fast is not enough Perez, di Resta, Hulkenberg, etc.. have different attitude and far better results !

        1. And I’m not sure that Maldonado is very good pilot, just think what technological advantages can provide William’s car. Sauber with Perez and Kobayashi gets far away better perormance with an average car.

      2. Very True… he never accepts blame…. wonder what he had to say to the team when he had that demo crash in Venuzuela…

        to be honest i think he will be far gone from F1 by now . if his money wasn’t there…

        1. “It was the lightning storms fault…”

      3. Yes, the guy is an absolute prat! He is now saying that the Jumped Start happened because the Clutch Paddle slipped out of his hand. I guess it’s just a coincidence that his foot happened to mash the gas and hands turned the steering wheel to drive round the car in front at the precise moment at which his hand slipped. How stupid does he think we are? He shows traits of being a bit of a spoilt brat, never his fault.

        Then lap 4 he’s out of the race due to contact with Glock. The safety car came in on Lap 5 I believe so he can’t even stay out of trouble at 70mph. If he’s looked inward and found no fault he needs to look again because he’ll never improve otherwise. They guy is clearly mega quick but his race brain is still in his spare helmet come Sunday and it would be extremely annoying if he didn’t get on top of his issues because he could be a seriously exciting racer.

        Having Hamilton as his team mate next year will either make him or break him.

  6. He keeps adding to his tally I see.

  7. Right decision. Though we didn’t see him ramming Glock, I’m guessing it was enough to warrant a drive through. Since a drive through is almost always a 5-place drop if you retire, this is a sensible penalty.

  8. Maldonado retired due to his clash with Glock, isn’t that penalty enough?

    1. I imagine not from Glock’s perspective

    2. Not if he’s caused an unnecessary collision, there’s plenty of precedent.

      1. U cant shoot a police dead while robing a bank and then drink poison when ur cornered and feel u have paid for the offence if u come out of hospital alive. u will still go to jail.

        1. +1, albeit an extreme but worryingly accurate metaphor.

  9. Grosjean is unbelievable! He deserves an F1 ban or a couple of races AT LEAST! I remember people complaining in 2001 when Raikkonen came to F1 after having only FEW competitions in his agenda, but he never made such silly mistakes and not these many!

    As for Maldonado, he deserves A COUPLE of Races ban too!

  10. That brings Maldonado’s total penalties number this season to what? 9? 10? And the season is just beyond its halfpoint. Surely he’s going for a record here.

    Seriously now. If I’m to be asked: there should be a finite number of penalties a driver can recieve in one competitional season without getting at least a ban. 9 or 10 penalties applied in 12 races is absurd.

    1. Good idea here, actually. It’s already been does with respect to reprimands (I think 3 reprimands automatically converts to a grid penalty), surely a finite number of penalties should automatically convert to a ban.

      1. They are accompanied of fines too. how much money is a driver entitled to for Fines ? How many cars can be destroyed ?
        If they pay them there is chance can’t afford to finish the tour and/or crash every race !

        1. Maldonado’s money is what keeps Williams running, we can agree. Fines aren’t and never will be an issue for Maldonado (or anyone else for that matter).

          1. but some other could feel it differently, ask Hulkenberg, Di Resta or Vergne and Ric to pay huge fines every race, this will be a different story, they don’t have the same support …
            Anyway he feels like it’s never enough, now getting them per 3.
            And always the same, “but I don’t feel it was my fault” annoys me so much, at least recognize what you do as Grosjean does. And both sould understand that they are the first loser of this kind of driving, they both lost so many points this year crashing

    2. I think it’s important to note that not all of Maldonado’s penalties have come from his rash on-circuit conduct, he has had a few from gearbox and other technical infringements. Nonetheless, I think there perhaps should be a limit of the number of penalties based on driving conduct that can be incurred before a ban is handed out.

      1. I think only 2 were of a technical nature, if I’m not mistaken. And one of them was a gearbox change imposed by him smashing his car into the Wall of Champions in Montreal. I know it’s not fair to judge technical interventions by their causes but…for the sake of the argument. :)

    3. I see the logic behind that, though remember that there are different levels of penalty. For example, was the three place drop for blocking Hulkenburg worth the same as the ten place drop for hitting Perez at Monaco?

      Still, a system like that is certainly worth considering. How about it FIA?

      1. To be honest, a system based on day-to-day traffic rules and regulations could work and might be quite easy to apply.

        And by that I mean: around here each offence has a corresponding number of points attached to it. A certain number of points collected / deducted gets your driver licences suspended for a period of X months.

        Let’s say the FIA were to implement such a system in F1. With points applied in addition to penalties. For example: one point for jumping the start, 2 for impeding, 3 for causing a collision etc. Gather a fair number of points over the course of a season (let’s say 15) and you get to sit on the bench for one weekend. Seems fair, at least in theory / at a first non-specialised glance.

        That could actually keep fellas like Maldonado, Grosjean or Hamilton on their toes. Make them a bit more aware of the repercussions.

        Just my 2 cents…

      1. Yep. These 6 + 1 drive through at Hungaroring for plunging sideways into Di Resta + 2 gearbox changes in Monaco and Montreal. So 9 in total.

        The gearbox changes shouldn’t count but the drive through should.

  11. When was the last time someone managed to pick up three penalties in a single race weekend?

    1. that useless old pilot known as button in canada 2011. Hell if one of the worst drivers can achieve a championship with the best car, don’t be suprised if we see de la rosa winning in the HRT if they get some more money and create a crushing device or run the best engine in 2014..

      Mad ah no doh is too awful though

  12. Kieth, would it be possible to make a page to show the most penalties in a season as a feature please?

    1. Might help if you spelt his name right! ;)

    2. @xjr15jaaag If Im not wrong, Keith did do something like this a month back I think, only for Maldonado. If you search around it might be there on the forums because Im sure I read that article.

  13. Unflippin believable! Why does he always get away with such soft penalties…

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      2nd September 2012, 18:43

      So if another driver jumped the start and collided with another driver it would also be a light penalty?

    2. Dude, I totally feal you but, in all of his clashes, he has never posed a threat to injure someone severly…. Grosjean´s action today could have killed someone, simple as that… Is it Alonso´s fault he is leading the championship? No… and it shouldn´t matter, the fact is it could have been anyone… he could have killed someone today…

  14. William Brierty
    2nd September 2012, 18:37

    How can there be Maldonado fans? Anyone see that feature with Maldonado on Sky F1 at the Venezulan demo (that he crashed at)? Remember all of those fanatic “Maldonado fans”? Don’t you just get the feeling that they were just paid by the government to make the event look more spectacular. How can anyone have a positive opinion of Maldonado? He’s quick. Thats all. And lets face it there are plenty of quick guys waiting on the wings of F1 like Antonio Felix Da Costa, Esteban Gutierrez, Tio Ellinas, Conor Daley, Daniel Abt, Johnny Cecotto Jnr, Jolyon Palmer and Nigel Melker to name just a few, but I can’t see any of them getting into F1 any time soon because it takes more than speed. I can see fundemental issues with the way Maldonado drives. He has no accuracy with his steering, he flails at the wheel, and simply guesses the required steering angle at the entry to a corner. He also seems incapable of making small corrections and smooving his steering imputs, instead electing to jolt the steering. This is to his benefit during qualifying because it develops good tyre temperature and allows his to carry exceptional apex speed, but when he is in close confines to other cars his style blatantly causes issues because his inaccuracy requires a sizable amount of room of track. Also F1 cars tend to loose downforce near other cars, which means that the car requires to be constantly corrected, which Maldonado seems to be unable to do smoothly, and this often results in incidents like Silverstone and Hungary. Maldonado’s never-surrender mentality is an issue, but his driving style is a bigger one. He needs to really try an adapt his style, because unless he does the same incidents are only going to continue. However I doubt that will happen, so if Williams know what’s good for them they will dump Maldonado on the quick-but-inconsistant scrapheap. Only an idiot can’t see that a Bottas-Senna line-up won’t be superior (points wise) over Williams current team.

    1. 3 points, he won a race, he is the only Venezuelan driving in F1 and Williams get paid $50 mil. to give him the drive.

      1. Exactly. It is money alone that has prevents Sir Frank showing this idiot the door mid-season. Easily the most dangerous driver I’ve seen during my F1 years. This is from a Williams fan, too. Bottas would be great, but won’t bring that $50m that is helping to create that super-quick car that Pastor so lovingly bends every other weekend.

        1. William Brierty
          3rd September 2012, 10:35

          OK, then forget Bottas and Williams should deploy Luiz Razia from
          GP2. He is quick, consistent, intelligent, measured and better still he brings over $40 million in sponsorship.

          1. William Brierty
            3rd September 2012, 13:25

            And what’s more, what Williams are gaining in sponsorship money they are loosing in terms of WCC ranking because of Maldonado’s inconsistency. Williams currently have the 5th/6th fastest car in F1 and yet they are 8th the WCC, mostly thanks to Maldonado’s errors. Williams have the car to capitalise on Mercedes’ misfortune, but instead Maldonado is costing Williams a shot at 6th in WCC, which, in the long run, is costing Williams financially, despite Maldonado’s sponsorship money.

  15. The problem now is that he will have 10 more cars he can hit from behind in the race.

    1. LOL
      You guys are jsut too funny…

    2. classic! +1

  16. Shame we didn’t see the Maldonado/Glock collision on TV, makes our judgement on that topic somewhat irrelevant. On the other hand, a 5 place grid penalty for the jump start should be relatively automatic.
    Bet he takes a new gearbox while he’s at it and ends up at, or close to, 24th on the grid. Might as well preserve tyres in quali as well for the race. The Williams seems to have had good straight line speed at Spa so with even less downforce typically used at Monza, he might be able to recover quite a few of those spots during the race. Assuming he can avoid his colleagues in the process.

    1. Just set the car up for the race. With DRS and gear ratios set for driving from the back and not qualifying. He will only set a time to be within the 107% rule then save all the tyres.

      1. Thanks, @goofy
        Was this for position? I assume so.

        1. Yes, it was for position indeed @scalextric, and thanks from me as well @goofy hadn’t seen it either.

  17. Why is he still allowed to even partake in F1? …oh wait, its because his father is a wealthy politician…

    1. His father? Dude… inform yourself first… His president is the one backing him in F1… PDVSA is a government company controlled by Chavez…

  18. watch the video in super slow motion and then tell me where he jumped it? Charlie wrong? In car telemetry? ********.

    1. If you look at a hamilton onboard at the start, you can see maldonado move before the lights go out

  19. Williams I think are waiting for the day they can afford to sack Maldonado…
    Must be, no?

    1. If they can maintain their current position, what will Bernie’s payout be?

      PDVSA paid (~) $35 mil. for 3 years. Assuming its ~ $10 million due next year, would their Bernie money cover that and any contract buyout?

      /end sporaddic, wishful thinking

  20. This guy is a cowboy. He needs to be stopped before he kills someone.

  21. Can someone tell me if it is true that Maldonado has have 12 penalties this year?

    1. Not quite. 9 penalties so far. 7 for driving conduct (6 of them resulting in grid penalties and one in a drive through) + 2 gearbox changes.

      Also, it’s worth a mention that 5 of those 7 were for “causing an avoidable collision / incident”, one for “impeding” and one for “jumped start”.


  22. @keithcollantine Do you remember what penalty Alonso was given last year I reckon, for a false start? Was he given a drive through or a grid drop?

    1. he was given a drive through, as would Maldonado have been if he was competent enough to keep his car to himself for more than a lap.

    2. @mahavirshah Yep @jleigh is right. The stewards’ statement on Maldonado says “the driver failed to finish the race so the usual penalty for a false start could not be imposed”. Hence the grid drop.

      1. @jleigh Ahh yes competent is the keyword :D !

  23. Pastor *must* change his name by Deed Poll to “Crashtor” immediately. I no longer recognise him as “Pastor”, he’s the furthest thing from Saintly and Kind.

    Online petition maybe? ;)

  24. DID YOU KNOW?!

    Maldonando, apparently means “ill favoured”! Blimey.

    Crashtor Maldonado is about as plumb as you can get wot? :) The ill favoured crashtor!

    1. Nominative determinism in action!

  25. Hey, if I can slow-motion the start and can’t see Maldonado move before the red lights go out, where’s the problem? I don’t care if they have timers to the microsecond, somewhere in the middle the decisions just get stupid when you’re talking real life.
    I’m pretty sure we’re talking about a time scale of how long it takes a light bulb to go from full on to full off. Sorry, but that’s ******** officiating.

    1. What are you talking about? Its blatently obvious even at normal speed he jumps the lights, watch it from Hamiltons onboard.

      1. You need to watch it again. Try and find the footage from Charlie’s tower. Its a dead give away because Charlie shakes his head as Maldonado screams past before he has pressed his button. Quite comical actually.

    2. Is the one thing in his career he already admitted to: he alleged the clutch lever slipped off his hand, plus you should see his car starts moving SLOWLY, BEFORE the lights go off, then he (fast witted as he is) intermediately takes control of the runaway car! (according to his own admission) and drives to the gap! punches the accelerator and heads for the lead! in an astonishing reaction to make the best of an already bad situation, (the first penalty placed him in that position, no I mean, a crazy runaway car!) and never thinking if this could have further consequences…may be? Come on!!! really? this is not school any more, you can not explain things like this, there are grown ups involved!!

  26. Maldonado doesn’t need a race ban.

    He needs an ASBO*.

    *For those outside the UK: Anti Social Behaviour Order. An official legal “you are a dangerous piece of work, but you haven’t done anything we can jail you for *yet*” judgement. (scheme has been closed)

  27. I don’t agree with the decision. A grid penalty for a jump start? I see that he has to pay somehow for an infringement but he gained no benefit from doing so. They should hae added 20 seconds to his time, i.e. done nothing.

  28. The irony here is that “pastor” means “shepherd” in Spanish and a shepherd is defined as “the one who cares for and guides a group of people”. Maldonado should change its attitude on the track or change his first name!

  29. He clearly didn’t jump the start. However, it matters not.

    The powers that be have decided, correctly, that he is unfit to race at this level. He will be punished and penalized until his seat is taken by a more professional and deserving driver.

    He won’t be missed.

    1. He clearly did jump the start!

      There are plenty of pics online now that clearly show it. Not only that, race control have jump start sensors on each car.

      You saying they made this up?

      1. The replay I saw looked convincing… but if I am mistaken, I accept it. As I said in the comment, whether or not he jumped the start is a smaller issue. He is a marked man – for good reason.

    2. As false starts are ‘judged using an FIA supplied transponder which must be fitted to the car as specified,’ if the stewards have got it wrong, we should have serious, fundamental doubts about time-keeping. And where would we be then?

      Let’s face it: he jumped the start.

  30. Is Ham the only driver taken out by Mal and Group this yer? Got to feel for him. Seems that championship this year will be decided by who is hit the least by one of these fools. -particularly Mal.

  31. During the broadcast on SpeedTV, the slow motion showed he did not jumped the start. His reaction was perfect while the other drivers where still standing. Just wondering by how much time did he jumped the start on the telemetries….

    1. He himself said in interview, that he “let the clutch slip” early, he was already on the move before the lights were out.

    2. @joematers
      It looks close, but try to pause the video as soon as you see Maldonardo’s car creep forward. You should notice that the red lights are still on at that point.

    3. MAL definitely jumped the start. The lights were still on when his car began to move.

  32. I cannot believe this driver still hasn’t received a ban!! Ok he wasn’t completely out of line this race but let’s take a look at his f1 career. In mean grogean did cause a horrible accident but I truly believe there was no intent Maldonado on the other hand has continuously cause collisions with malicious intent and gets away with it almost scott free. Is it just because he hasn’t taken a out a Ferrari yet!

    1. Is it just because he hasn’t taken a out a Ferrari yet!

      lol. I can’t discount this ’cause there are too much going on behind scene. But I’m skeptical when it comes to the case of taking out MAS.

      1. But he is dangerous reckless and callous. He has premeditated crashing previously (Hamilton last years qualifying ) he would defo have fitted in well at Renault a few years back. What happened to them again oh yeah that’s right. Maldonado should have already been banned tht is a fact.

  33. Did his jump start contribute to the first corner incident in some way?

    1. @tryptase Grosjean mentioned it following the news of his ban from Monza, saying that it caught him off guard, but other than that, nothing much else as far as I can tell.

  34. It wont’n stop until somebody lost his life because of a stupid driver like Maldonado. He should be fired from F-1 no matter what.

  35. Can someone tell me why Maldonado, unlike Grosjean, hasn’t received a ban yet (in any category) with driving like this?

    1. I’ve given Pastor the benefit of the doubt most of this season, he’s undoubtedly fast; his win was incredible, but with actions like that he should never have been given a super license. Absolutely speechless.

    2. I lot portuguese commentary… and yes Maldonado should be banned…

  36. Penalty seems fair to me. Grosjeans mistake was much more costly than Maldonado’s, why should he receive a bigger punishment?

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