Maldonado accepts blame for pit crash

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado admitted his crash on the way into the pits during the second practice session in China was his own mistake.

“The incident this afternoon was a mistake from my side,” said the Lotus driver.

“I was a little optimistic on the entry to the pits, and the run off is quite short, but that’s how it is. It’s a tricky part of the track and we’ve seen incidents there before.”

Maldonado had an eventful start to the weekend on Friday as he also spun his car after driving off the track at turn nine while changing the settings on his steering wheel.

However he was pleased with the progress he made during the two sessions and believes a top ten finish is a realistic prospect.

“We tried different set-ups in the car and completely different philosophies so now we have more data to analyse and look at in preparation for tomorrow,” he said.

“The car is improving – the power unit seems to be better and more consistent – so we’re making good progress. Our quali mode is better, which is something we are working on, so hopefully this weekend will be much better for us. Points are realistic, so we’ll do our best to achieve that.”

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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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70 comments on “Maldonado accepts blame for pit crash”

  1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
    18th April 2014, 11:53

    Well, thats got to be a first hasn’t it?

    1. Indeed, surprised he didn’t blame the dangerous pit entry. Although there were a few slightly critical comments such as “the run-off is too short” and “we’ve seen incidents there before”.

  2. I wouldn’t want to be in Maldonado’s shoes. After last race he distract’s himself with the wheel buttons and goes out of the circuit?! Twice?!? And, to finalize he hits the wall in the pit’s entry? Oh my… isn’t obvious that he needs psychological counselling? I hope he doesn’t continue with the escalate tomorrow.

  3. How long till this guy actually does some major damage???

    1. @deurmat A race ago?

  4. This man is a constantly moving threat.. someone either get him out or make others immune. Dont want him to come close to anyone tomorrow, especially the ForceIndias (i have a gut feeling that he will)..

    1. Hey, hey, hey…Don’t yo jinx the Force Indias. I have both cars in my top 5 perdition for this weekend. :)

    2. Hey, hey, hey…Don’t yo jinx the Force Indias. I have both cars in my top 5 prediction for this weekend. :)

    3. People wanted unpredictability in F1, right? So they let a maniac loose on the track. Nobody knows what he’s going to do next, or who he’s going to take out. There’s your unpredictability.

  5. Hell has just frozen over.

    1. Yeah .. OMG Maldonado admitting his mistake .. that’s unbelievable . Maybe he forgot himself for a second or someone took control of his mind.

  6. I sometimes wonder whether he has fans in Venezuela. He drives like a chicken without a head while spending the country it’s oil funds.

    1. Agree.. don’t know if Venezuela is actually proud to be represented by some of Pastor’s calibre and character.

      Don’t think his single win can make up for a career of moronity (new word i think?)

    2. So a chicken without a head is capable of winning a grand prix, that is very very impressive.

      1. Even a blind squirrel…

    3. Well, as a Venezuelan i can answer ur question, and the answer is YES. And the reason is the same why maybe you support your national teams: supporting what u believe is yours. Howewer, I can tell u that approximately half people in Venezuela doesn´t like him, but the hate is not related with racing, it´s all about politics. Sadly, many venezuelans want him to go bad, because his mistakes and crashes are equivalent to mistakes and crashes of the government, that sposors his carreer through PDVSA. PDVSA not only sponsors him, supports also all the categories of the national footbal, baseball and baskeball teams, all the olympic athletes and so on. At least all of u guys that comment about him here have reasons (that I consider valid) to criticize him based in his performance on track (some with more or less respect). Ironically, the day he received the most negatives comments and opinions here in Venezuela was the day he won in Spain. For me (and many others), a 20 year Formula 1 fan and a obsessed F1 2012 online player, having Maldonado in F1 is a big pride. A driver from a non-traditional country, with an impressive record in junior categories, 2010 GP2 Champion, certainly needed the push towards F1, at least as a bet. Despite his win in 2012, Pastor didn´t have a good 2013 and rigth now is not at his best. Certainly Pastor is not the most focused and the best strrategist driver, but certainly has a lot in the pace/skills/guts departments. And we´re waiting him to settle down to see his best.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        18th April 2014, 19:21

        yeah! the government should spent even more money supporting him…

      2. That,’s why you country is in a big turmoil , because the goverment keeps waisting the money in programs and sponsorships that does not return nothing to the country , I tell you what , Venezuela and F1 do not need Maldonado , but Venezuela for sure needs those 40 millions a year . That’s ” dinero Mal donado ” !!!!!!

      3. Don’t listen to this guy, he’s pro goverment. As a Venezuelan i can tell you, at first we admired him a lot because he really was good on junior but the F1 it’s too big for him and the goverment stills support him just for publicity and to make himself look good over seas, as a Venezuelan i can tell you. We’re not proud of him, not even the goverment because he’s not as public as, let’s say Gustavo Dudamel who’s in absolutely everything. We’re ashamed because we could do best.

  7. I expected him to say “well you know, I had cold tyres and the barrier misjudged my braking point and came out of nowhere so I had no place to go” – Pastor Maldonado, the Legend.

    1. Yeah but he didn’t.

    2. Clearly the gravel trap had the racing line.

      1. Everyone could see that Maldonado was ahead of the gravel trap going into the corner!

      2. LOL I love reading the comments on F1F, I can always find someone with a good sense of humor to give me a laugh on a cold, dreary day. Thanks guys. :)

        1. F1 will not be the same without Maldonado, but I don’t know if I should fear or look forward to this season being his last in F1.

          1. Traverse (@)
            19th April 2014, 12:12

            F1 will not be the same without Maldonado

            You’re right, it would be greatly improved with his absence.

  8. He’s a dangerous driver because he seems to lack spatial awareness. The pace is there, obviously, but everyone in F1 has speed. Spatial awareness is vital if you want to be a great racing driver and Pastor is way of the mark in this department. If he keeps this up, he will injure either himself or someone else.

    1. Mark in Florida
      18th April 2014, 16:10

      Yes he is a dangerous driver, his real calling in life might be to drive in NASCAR. At least if he crashes into someone it’s not necessarily life threatening in a 3500 pound car. And as a bonus the guys in NASCAR don’t mind knocking one of your teeth out, just ask Kurt Busch. Yeah he does have some talent for driving just not in F1.

  9. Whatever Pastor, whatever…

  10. Was this the same place Hamilton ran off trying to get back into the pits to change a flat? This was 2007, I think, when he could have won the championship.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      18th April 2014, 12:36


    2. Does that mean Maldonado ‘could’ win the championship this year?

        1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
          19th April 2014, 1:12


  11. Finally! Declare a holiday in Venezuela! :)

  12. “Crashing isn’t always bad though” – Victoria Maldonado :)

  13. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th April 2014, 12:39

    Whilst the car looked like a complete handful, and quite frankly utterly rubbish. I shall give him some credit for at least accepting the blame and copping it on the chin for once.

    He rarely ever declares himself to blame, so I guess he couldn’t really blame the armco for jumping out and crashing him? lol

  14. maarten.f1 (@)
    18th April 2014, 12:54

    Very funny @keithcollantine, except April fool’s was a couple of weeks ago :P There’s just no way Maldonado would accept the blame for something.

    1. It’s seriously shocking that this guy is allowed anywhere near any kind of race track. In the first incident he takes his hand of the wheel to fiddle with some button or other and forgets to turn into the corner. Is this really a racing driver? Or indeed a driver of any kind? In the second he powers in too fast and crashes – just like the teenage drivers who’s wrecked cars end up on display on the side of a road bend in the mornings here in Brazil every so often. A dangerous liability – and someone someday could wll have to pay the price for FIA’s leniency.

      1. Love the way he says “I crashed ” on the second video .

        1. love the response from the engineer
          “Oh? Okay…”

          If you listen closely you can actually hear his engineers thoughts
          Mark Slade – “Alright, pit in this lap Pastor”
          MAL – “I Crash”
          Slade – “Oh? [what?! Crash? he was just coming into pit la… ah well it is Maldonado..] Okay…”

      2. maarten.f1 (@)
        18th April 2014, 16:28

        Didn’t Lewis Hamilton crash into the back of Raikkonen at the end of the pit lane once? Yes, it’s a silly error from Maldonado, however, mistakes happen to everyone.

        Don’t get me wrong though, it wouldn’t be a great loss to Formula 1 if he leaves, but he is a race winner, and there aren’t many drivers who can say that. And when all the stars are aligned properly, he sure can drive.

        1. Yes, and it put them both out of the race. I seem to remember Kimi saw the pit light, and dodged Kubica. Kimi’s reaction to Lewis was priceless.

        2. I agree about mistakes being normal, it’s the absence of any sense of responsibility and learning that seems problematic. Hamilton’s crash into Raikkonen was absurd, but also more understandable given the poorly located pit lights, the absurd release system then in place, and the fact they were under intense racing conditions. Driving off the track at relatively slow speed because you can’t concentrate and multi-task – given the importance of these practice sessions for Lotus – just baffles me. And seems ominous given Maldonado’s long history of causing problems on the track. I just feel his punishment for slamming into another car and spinning it over was too slight and that indulgence by FIA of his lack of due concentration and care is reflected in the mistakes he’s still making two weeks later.

    2. TO be frank I am not bothered about these kinds of incidents where he only damages his car as PDVSA can give $()!# loads of money to fix the car up . I am bothered when he ends a driver’s race or at this rate even someone’s life .The next time he does something like this in a race please black flag him or give a race ban .

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      18th April 2014, 20:45

      Hang on a second…. I thought they all had the new screens on the steering wheel this year? That looks like last year’s wheel!

  15. Most unexpected news;-)

  16. And I saw a family of pigs flying right outside my window.

    1. Did they crash? :D

      1. No maldonado crash landed on them as he flew from the Shanghai circuit :-P

  17. What’s wrong with maldo… He accepted blame?? This isn’t him…. Hope this is a change for good and he doesn’t go back to his own ways..

  18. Well, i feel sorry for the man. I’m not trying to defend Mal or anything, but the constant public ridicule and the unanimous hate surely places a lot of pressure on him, which in turn contributes to more errors. The negative aura really nasty.

    Does he deserve to be in F1? Not likely. But he’s here, whether anyone likes it or not. In fact, his presence on the grid means that Lotus had no better options (money/ability combo). And we know he can be fast. And many of us kept on waiting when he would start improving (like Romain did). It’s really frustrating. The Williams debacle didn’t help matters at all, and I believe that it was that incident that probably became the catalyst for the lost of respect and the real downward spiral. It seems that at this point there’s no way back up for him… It’s just painful, really.

    1. Well.. I can’t feel sorry for him. He brought it on himself

  19. No Mexicans nearby to blame this time.

  20. Good to see Lewis’s gravel trap is still there… it made sure Pastor had no control over his car.
    What’s it doing there, is it for bikes or something?

    1. @bullfrog I love the way you say ‘ Lewis’ gravel trap ‘ . Sounds like the senna Ss besides it’s a gravel trap LOL ;-)

      1. Now it is also Maldonado’s gravel trap:-)

  21. ok so here I am thinking after reading the headline that Maldonado is accepting responsibility for Bahrain, but NO! this is ANOTHER crash from China, what is wrong with this man! He’s got more crash videos on youtube than I can count. He needs to leave the sport NOW!!!!

  22. All right all you armchair Andrettis. Admit that he’s doing a better job than you could. Now that that’s past us. I say ban him from F1.

  23. Honestly, I dont seem to understand why there is so much hate for Pastor. I mean, its not his fault that that he had PDVSA supporting him. They would support anyone from Venezuela if they show the acheivement that Pastor had(the guy won GP2 at 2010). He had the money, Lotus wanted the money, he got the drive. It was not his choice, it was Lotus’.

    I am not defending him but most of his crashes were either racing error or lapse of human judgement. Its not something new in F1. I dont believe anyone would deliberately crash in anyone with the intention of spoiling ones race…except Schumacher and Senna and Piquet Jr.
    I give the benefit of doubt to Pastor, he is fast but not consistent and slightly reckless but hey most of the drivers in F1 are or were once like that.

    1. @1abe: Only difference is that this it seems as if Maldonado’s learning curve has settled on a negative angle. That combined with the fact that the cars of 2014 has become more difficult to drive, mixed with a lot of changes clearly indicates that Maldonado’s talent and abilities has been over matched substantially. We all fear that he will cause a really bad accident or that he will ruin the race for some of the drivers we care (more) for.

      1. @palle If its a curve, then hopefully there is a upward turn as well. He is talented no doubt but it’s seems his talent suits Derby demolition rather than F1. Pastor just needs to look at his teammate for inspiration. Grosjean had a shoddy 2012 but ended 2013 with a bang. Pastor need not wait for a year. But that completely depends how responsible he feels and how much he wants to set the record straight.

        1. You can’t compare Mal with Gros. The latter accepted the blame for his mistakes and rectified. Mal has shown no remorse so far and unless Lotus produces a superb car, which is very easy to drive, Mal will continue his crash campaign straight out of F1 this season. He has clearly run out of talent, especially with the increased difficulty level this season.

    2. If u include Senna you must include Prost as well

  24. Wow, it’s a miracle! Finally after 3 and a bit years of carnage and crashing, Crashtor Stupidado has finally accepted blame for his own mistake!

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