Maldonado says Gutierrez left him “nowhere to go”

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado says Esteban Gutierrez could have done more to prevent the contact between the pair during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Lotus and Sauber drivers collided at turn one on lap 41 of the race as Maldonado emerged from the pits. Gutierrez’s car rolled over in the impact but Maldonado was able to finish the race.

The stewards held Maldonado responsible for the collision and handed him a penalty during the race, and penalty for the next race, and endorsement points on his licence.

However Maldonado said after the race he was not entirely to blame for the crash.

“We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one – maybe he missed his braking point, I don’t know – and by then I was in the corner with nowhere to go.

“For sure it’s difficult to understand and I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it’s good he jumped straight out of the car.”

Gutierrez has been released from hospital having been taken there for further checks following his admission to the circuit’s medical centre.

“I was completely surprised that Pastor, who came out of the pits, ran into me,” he said.

“I was clearly in front of him. I turned into the corner and I was suddenly hit and I rolled over. There was nothing much I could do.”

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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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108 comments on “Maldonado says Gutierrez left him “nowhere to go””

  1. Just what about I was worried on the poll about the fairness of his penalties. Classic Maldonado: I am the King of the World, I am Faultless, I am Perfect and everybody else is just below me.
    He’s never going to change, he’s a lost cause.

    1. I said exactly the same thing in the other comments. Every time he causes a collision, gets a penalty for it ( which highlights he was at fault) and still he plays the victim. He needs a 3 race ban to make him wise up. Harsh yes, but I seriously think it’s needed. This, the Hamilton incident and twice using his car as a weapon, how is the guy still in F1 ?

      I’ don’t like to see lotus suffer, but I’m so glad his money didn’t buy him a fast car. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he shouldn’t be allowed to race in f1.

      1. The day I knew that Lotus signed him I swore to the heavens why did they do it (money, of course, but why). Then I wanted for Lotus sake that he better make me ate my words, but the guy has this big, enormous ego that is his doom. He never learnt from his mistakes and never will.

      2. Before this, I thought he needed a one race ban. Now that he has shown to be in denial and so selfish as to actually blame others for his fault (as many of us predicted) it is time for the FIA to make an example of him and hand him a 3 race ban.

        1. 3 race ban? Who are you kidding man? He did so many bad things that I can’t even count on the fingers of my hand!! He does not need a 3 race ban, he needs to be OUT OF FORMULA 1 FOR GOOD!!! He can’t drive worth anything and he puts others in danger too!

          1. He does not need a 3 race ban, he needs to be OUT OF FORMULA 1 FOR GOOD!!!

            I’m not 100% on that.

            While I agree that he is incredibly dangerous at the moment, I can see the possibility of him being very good if he gets himself under control. A 1-3 race ban, to try to drill the message into him, may do the trick. But it should be a final warning: Any more of this, and you’re banned.

      3. This, the Hamilton incident and twice using his car as a weapon, how is the guy still in F1 ?

        To be fair, the incident with Hamilton in Valencia wasn’t fully his fault. His car was up on the kerb and the front wheels off the ground. He tried to steer away but couldn’t.

        But then again, what about Hamilton putting Maldonado into the wall at Monaco?

        1. No he didn’t. He stayed alongside Hamilton while off the track and then drove clean into the side of him. They were going to collide regardless of whether Maldonado tried to avoid it or whether the minimal kerb was there, because Maldonado stuck with it after he lost the corner and couldn’t have possibly taken a tight enough line not to avoid Hamilton.

        2. Valencia was clearly PM’s fault . the correct word to describe it is not a very sophisticated word but here goes… “t-boned”


            Pause the video at 0:21 ( just before contact ) and check out where the nose of the williams is pointing .

            He did the same yesterday.

    2. Pastor didn’t even brake. I thought if was a car failure but it’s clear it was all down to poor judgement from the man in the car. Pastor needs to grow up, maybe Grojean can help.

      1. Pastor didn’t even brake.

        Clearly not true. Of course Pastor is in the wrong, but don’t muddy the waters.

        1. Of course Pastor is in the wrong, but don’t muddy the waters.

          Exactly what I thought. It seems to me that Gutierrez took a very wide line and suddenly, in the middle of the turn, he closed the angle. There is a video on Youtube showing clearly how (maybe because he thought that Maldonado was already behind him) the turns to the right to recover speed at the exit. I my view, that was a dangerous move. At the entrance to the turn, Maldonado had plenty of space, but not the middle of it. But Maldonado, coming out of the boxes and most probably with brakes without the proper temperature, simply didn’t have the reaction to avoid the collision.
          To be honest, I very much doubt that if the positions were reversed in this accident, Gutierrez would be handed a three races ban.

    3. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      7th April 2014, 2:56

      he shouldnt be in F1. and also cecotto shouldnt be in GP2. they are crashers and they dont care. which sponsors want to be asociated with this people???? of course, besides the venezuela government…

  2. Just as we all saw coming he is the perfect driver who was not to blame, I mean if you think about it champions like Hamilton have crashed into him with no reasoning. I mean come on the man is a race winner!

    1. Maldonado on his day is good. Not great, not amazing, just good. And even on those days he has a fifty/fifty chance of ruining his and someone else’s race. Maldonado does not look like a driver who is in his forth year in F1. Spain 2012 was merely him on a good day, not great, in a car that was ahead of his nearest competitors. It ranks as one of the most overrated drives I’ve ever seen and I recon half the grid would win it by over 10 seconds in that car. No matter how much I’ve tried to support him in the past, he is just a disgrace to whatever team he drives for. No driver will ever pick 13 after he retires at the end of the year.

      1. I side with you in all. Maldonado himself thinks it was the best drive in the world, I just think his car was good on that day in those conditions. If not for his financial backings im I do not see how he could be racing in any category at all let alone F1. He is going to kill someone with the way he drives that boy!

        1. He almost did a few years ago; didn’t slow down for yellow flags and hit a marshall

    2. I agree with you all – Maldonado is a hazard and is clearly in the wrong here, like he often is.

      However, if we think back to 2011 and Hamilton – that was his 5th year in F1 and was a World Champion. How many people did he crash into that year?

      Were you all calling for him to be banned?

      1. @nick101 I don’t think he went around saying he was right at all these instances . Agreed that was a massive off-year for Lewis but Maldonator is at it for more than a year .

    3. I think it is a fair to assume Williams are pleased he now drives for/destroys LOTUS cars!!

  3. Gutierrez maintained his line throughout and then found himself upside down. The driver entering the track, either from the pits, or recovering from a spin etc. must give way to the driver already on the circuit.

    Why he is suggesting he missed his braking point I don’t know as he made the corner perfectly. That being said, Gutierrez flipping was a worse consequence than Bianchi on Sutil, but was it any worse an action than Bianchi?

    1. Amen to that

    2. but was it any worse an action than Bianchi?

      I wish F1 would really establish whether the consequences are important. Because they seem really confused on this matter.

  4. Maldonado is correct, Gutierrez has some responsibility. Had the accident been between Guti and Alo, I doubt the outcome will be as it is. In a race to the corner you have to give some room and Guti turned in like he was alone on track.

    1. Had it been between Guti and Alonso it wouldn’t have happened because Alonso isn’t a suicidal maniac who just plows into people like Pastor…

    2. Man, just go watch the replay. Was Maldonado’s penalty too harsh? I don’t know, and really don’t care. But it certainly was his fault.

    3. Had it been Alonso and Gutierrez it would had never happened, simple as that. What’s more, Maldonado has proven through and wide how dangerous he is, Spa, Monaco, his home demo, today etc …

    4. “Maldonado is correct, Gutierrez has some responsibility”

      What are you smoking??

      Look onboard Gutierrez, he is clearly aware there is a car to his right and takes a deep line into T1.

    5. If only his car had brakes…

    6. It would never happen, Alonso knows how to brake, instead of T-boning another car.

    7. @Ooliver ” Guti turned in like he was alone on track.”

      Guti WAS alone on the track Maldo was coming out of the pits.

  5. Just re-watched the footage of the incident. No hint of a lock-up from Gutierrez, and there was easily a car’s width between his car and the apex.
    Why doesn’t this guy just man up and admit he made a mistake, instead of making up ridiculous excuses that just make him look like a petty five year old?

    1. If you see his previous incidents you get your answer: because he’s basically a petty, ridiculous little man…

  6. Come on he’s got to be kidding us! He was coming out of the pitlane and he was behind Guttierez even before he was over the white line.

  7. They should just ban him from F1. He may be fast from time to time, but he really is bad news for F1. Not fun to watch, just a danger to other drivers, and we run and hide every time he spouts out his nonsense.

  8. what an ….. – he tried to take the corner in a way that could only result in a crash or GUT going off track. He is reckless, has no respect for other drivers and lost all trust from others in wheel to wheel racing long ago. And now he isn’t even owning up to it.

  9. Pastor is quite right GUT should have left the track so Pastor could use all of it, haven’t they learned that yet.

    1. Heh, that is about the only safe course around that guy.

      It is astonishing anyone would say this is not Maldonado’s responsibility. Just look at the angle of his car at the moment of collision. Maldonado is headed straight for the run off area outside the corner while Gutierrez is taking the normal racing line while turning through the corner. I don’t know if Maldonado carried to much speed into the corner and couldn’t turn or what. It almost looks like he had no brakes approaching the corner, but I don’t wish to provide him with any more excuses than what he has already used. But, as he plowed into Gutierrez it looks like he never slowed or even turned into the corner, just plowed straight ahead.

      This had to be one of the easiest decisions ever for the stewards. Gutierrez is at speed on the racing line ahead of Maldonado going into the turn. Maldonado is merging from the pit lane, off the racing line and must consider that he may not even be very visible to drivers already on the track heading into the turn while he is coming up to speed and attempting to enter the racing line. Even on the motorways merging cars have the responsibility to blend into traffic, not the other way around. As others have mentioned, it did look like Gutierrez left enough room whether he knew Maldonado was there or not.

  10. I was concerned not by the crash, which was unfortunate, but by the length of time it took to a) send out the safety car when it was clearly needed and b) for marshals and medics to reach Gutierrez. He sat in his car for over a minute, then slowly got out of his car: marshals only got to him after he got out of his car. If he was unconscious and/or there was a fire, there could have been potentially life changing consequences.

    1. I agree, that marshaling might’ve been normal in the seventies, but not now. Some tracks, like Zandvoort, got removed from the calendar for poor safety if I recall correctly, and it’s ridiculous that the current marshals aren’t even up to snuff.

    2. Excellent point the one you bring up.

      Have you considered twittering it to James Allen or Jonathan Noble? Somebody of the press needs to rise this issue and bring attention to it.

    3. Maybe they already knew he was pretty much fine from radio communications. The marshals probably only got to him after he’d exited because the race was still only under yellows rather than safety car, and they probably have regulations saying that they don’t get that close to the edge of a track (particularly the outside of a corner) while a race is live.

      1. Also, marshals shouldn’t remove him from the car anyway unless for some reason he needs a quick exit (like if there is a fire, in which case we would have surely seen them rush forward as they were probably prepared to do), as otherwise only medical professionals should attend to a driver who hasn’t/presumably can’t leave his car. So their being there wouldn’t have done much except put them in harms way and marginally reduced the time they could have responded to a fire.

    4. really scary.
      a driver in the crashed car, not moving and nothing happens for a while.

      then after he is luckily out of his car, the safety carcomes very late.
      IMHO, the safety car destroyed this race

    5. As @matt90 mentions, Guttierez spoke to his team during and after that sommersault. I guess he waited a bit to get out to collect his senses and see where he is, what way he is facing and where to go to, as well as checking whether the car was charged etc @mattb

    6. Speaking of safety – that new FIA mandated dropped nose scooped him up perfectly…but seriously, what would the result of this collision have been in last year’s car? Was this better or worse. Certainly scary and happy he was able to walk away…

  11. Oh please. Seriously Maldonado? Just accept fault instead of making pathetic excuses.

  12. Charles Pic, keep yourself ready, Lotus might need you soon..

  13. Wow Maldonado! Just wow, once again blaming somebody else for your OWN mistake. Stupidado at his worst.

  14. It’s hard to remember that Paston won a race, beating a 2 time world champion in his own country…

    1. That was. Very we’ll deserved present for Sir Frank from the team (who labored for it) and the community which applauded it. MAL was lucky to have been in that seat thAt WE IMHO

      1. That was ‘a’ very we’ll deserved typo sorry

      2. Traverse (@)
        6th April 2014, 21:34

        Just because Maldonado is a complete ‘James Blunt’ doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give credit where credit is due. He won that race fair and square, holding off a beast Alonso is the process. We shouldn’t retrospectively denigrate (no matter how tempting).

        1. @hellotraverse just saying that you kinda forget with all the ridiculous mistakes…

  15. Irresponsible driver blames everyone but himself. No surprises here.

    What is surprising is just how long this guy with a history of recklessness and anger issues has managed to stay in the sport.

    1. It’s called the Venezuelan bolívar and PDVSA has plenty of them.

  16. Traverse (@)
    6th April 2014, 21:24

    Maldonado is a self-obsessed megalomaniac. If Bernie is still looking for a successor, I think Mr Pastor ‘nothing-is-my-fault’ Maldonado might just be the perfect candidate.

    1. Traverse (@)
      6th April 2014, 21:26

      Or Noel Edmonds of course…

  17. you could maybe attribute 2% or 3% of the blame to Gutierrez, but only on the grounds that he should know by now you need to give Maldonado five times as much room as anyone else :P shame on you Esteban, you need to make way for the self-appointed king of F1.

    Seriously Pastor come off it, bottom line is Gutierrez was on the track, in front of you, with the line, and you ploughed into the side of him.

    1. I know for sure I would’ve taken a wider line after seeing Maldonado coming out of the pitlane. Gutierrez is either very brave or didn’t actually see him. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Maldonado is a moron and easily could’ve avoided what happened.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      7th April 2014, 2:34


  18. Yes, he most certainly left you “nowhere to go”, because that’s where you were going, absolutely “nowhere” at all.

  19. I think it clearly was Gutierrez’s mistake: He turns right in the middle of the straight whereas Maldonado continues straight on.

    And what is this “Turn 1” you are talking about?

  20. Nope, sorry Pastor. It’s entirely your fault.
    You say that Gutierrez missed his braking point, which he did. But if he didn’t, you would’ve ploughed into him in a slightly more spectacular fashion.

    I don’t think the penalty was harsh enough. It was just plain reckless, and what he’s said shows that he doesn’t see the error of his ways, and is making no attempt at fixing them. This is before you take into account his previous history of very dangerous behaviour, some of which can be attributed to a malicious streak.

    He has no place in F1.

  21. Dear mr. Crashonaldo if having car insurance was a requirement to race you wouldn’t be able to race because of no one would insure you.

  22. Did the super low nose have any effect on this accident? I can’t seem to find a decent replay of the incident that show the actual point of impact.

    1. No. They touched weels.

  23. crazy Maldonado at his best, it was his stupid driving that turned this into a great race in the end, almost like Nascar where they purposely have a yellow just 10 laps before the finish…knowing the FIA I wouldn’t be surprised if they see this safety car as a opportunity for 10 lap shootouts to the end lol…

    1. @mpmark Maldonado is employed by Bernie to spice up the racing ;-)

  24. It’s funny how MAL, BIA and MAG tried to cover their mistakes. They do not know that by the time they’re interviewed everybody replayed their mistakes at least twice. GRO used to be a crush dummy. With time patiente and money he learnt. MAG might be nervous and want to show the second place in Australia wasnt luck….but he has commited several mistakes. BIA is going down the road since Hungary 2013, hope he can get out of his nightmare. MAL is beyond salvation. Enjoying venezuelans money driving the F1 dream. The best seat money can afford. Lauda’s envy.

  25. Denying something when caught red handed = perfect politician.

    1. Possibly that is his plan after F1?

  26. He is not taking responsibility for any of his mistakes..

    That is the scariest thing of all..

  27. I only saw the incident replay from onboard and over head once. Didn’t see pm’s car from eg’s onboard and the over head showed pm ahead on the run into the braking zone for the corner. Pm could & should have braked harder for that bend, but I’ve not seen any evidence yet that either driver new each other was there much before the collision. 1/10 sec could have avoided this crash.
    I’d like to see clear evidence of pastors crime and also see the punishment applied consistently for other drivers in the same situation, not just throw the book at a driver because he’s unpopular.

  28. FIA cares so much about Safety in F1. First and foremose get rid of this reckless driver.. then F1 will be safer more with out any rule changes or car design changes.

  29. Pastor, Pastor…..
    You should ask about Gutierrez condition and apologise, not blaming the poor guy.

    I know rules are rules, but I find ridiculous having Ricciardo given 10 places for the unsafe release from the pits, and Maldonado having 5 for nearly killing a guy.

    1. Agree, this makes DR’s penalty look even more draconian and over the top.

  30. Pastor, Pastor…..
    You should ask about Gutierrez condition and apologise, not blaming the poor guy.

    I know rules are rules, but I find ridiculous having Ricciardo given 10 places for the unsafe release from the pits, and Maldonado having 5 for nearly killing a guy.
    The fact he is blaming Gutierrez is even worst, because if he doesn’t accept his fault he will probably do it again.

  31. Brakes Pastor, your car have brakes and you should have used them. It was Guti corner, not yours.
    The fact that he can’t accept his mistakes makes him even worse.

  32. Maldonado turned Gutierrez’s world upside-down… literally :P

  33. Pastor, the brake on the left, accelerator is on the right, steering wheel is in the middle.

  34. This accident is further proof that Newey may have been right about the danger of the low noses. Maldonado’s car flipped that Sauber pretty easily by wedging under it.

    1. Except that this isn’t what happened. Their wheels touched.

    2. Despite the concerns about the low noses (which I share, they are too low and potentially highly dangerous), it looks like a clash wheels caused the car to flip.

    3. I watched the replays on YouTube and it’s not very clear, but it does seem like the tip of the Lotus’ left tusk breaks when the Sauber is flipped. Either way, those noses aren’t very safe.

  35. try the outside
    or using brakes

  36. Hasn’t he got a brake pedal? Or doesn’t he know how to use it?

  37. I think the one who missed his braking point was Maldonado, not Gutierrez…

  38. Esteban checked
    Who is next on the list?? Rookies of 2014??

  39. As Maldonado predicted his driving has transformed Lotus and also, Williams are performing rather better this year without Maldoado and his oil money? Glad to be rid of him I would think

  40. The man is total liability and should be removed from F1. His style of driving and attitude on track are skills more suitably placed for stock car racing. He would do well at Belle Vue cinder track. Maybe when someone gets seriously hurt the FIA will see reason.

  41. Get this lunatic out of the sport.

    What a disgusting set of comments when he almost killed a driver with blatent stupidity.

    At least when Grosjean used his car like a missile he had the sense to apologise.

  42. How is this psychopath gets a 5 spot grid penalty for flipping Guitierrez and Ricchiardo gets a 10 spot penalty for having a loose wheel. Ricchiardo stopped before it fell off and fixed it! Maldanado is obviously a greater danger.

  43. Many times I just didn’t even know where he was because there’s a big dead angle when you’re this close. So many times I didn’t know where he was and then he’d suddenly reappear again.

    That’s Nico Rosberg (from Motor Sport’s race report) describing his duel with Hamilton.

    Has visibility got worse with the new cars? Or is it just as bad as ever? (It’s pretty bad, judging by Gutierrez’s “Woah! What was that?” (That, my friend, was Maldonado.)

    The new LMP sportscar regulations have made improvements to vision, and maybe F1 should follow their lead and look into this again.

  44. What gets me is his bloody-minded arrogance. In incidences like this he completely believes he is entitled the right of way. I can’t believe it’s been _years_ that I’ve been saying that he shouldn’t be on the grid.
    I really feel bad for lotus for having decided to hitch their wagon to this train-wreck for the year.

    1. they are paying for having him in the team .. .not money but championship points.

  45. 1- Mal should have a race ban for that move, even if GUT was in the wrong (which he wasn’t) just hold off and let the stewards take care of him. This ain’t a video game Pastor!

    2- Bring on the nose is now too low discussion….

  46. I think from now on teams will be telling their drivers “There is Maldonado on track! Be careful, and wait until he drives away”.
    These are absolutely not acceptable comments like this. Terrible racer, terrible man.

  47. Is Pastor Maldonado the only driver in history for whom an “unsafe release” is any where he is allowed on track…..?

  48. Michael Brown (@)
    7th April 2014, 17:53

    I supported him in 2012 because he had shown great speed, but now in his fourth year he still hasn’t done anything about getting into incidents

  49. Maldonado is stupid it was his fault for the crash he left the pit lane and got straight into Esteban way. An irresponsible drive from Pastor this time let’s hope that he bounce back.

  50. Dennis the menace (@)
    8th April 2014, 3:16

    One issue I haven’t heard anyone touch on is the FIA stance on this. Malanaldo ran straight into a car in an accident that should have never happened and flipped a car putting a driver in hospital and he gets a drive through and 5 place grid penalty. The week before Ricciardo at no fault of his gets released with a loose wheel nut and immediately pushed back to the pit (not causing any harm to anyone but himself) and he gets given a stop and go penalty and a 10 place grid penalty. Wake up FIA, seriously.

  51. is Pastor Maldonado related to Maduro?
    They speak the same way, denying the reality.
    they live in another world.

  52. Grego (@francogrego)
    8th April 2014, 6:53

    He should be F1’s crash test dummy next year.

  53. Crashtor Malfunctionado
    8th April 2014, 12:42

    Gutierrez: “Whoa! What was that?”

    Brundle: “Its a Maldonado!”

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