Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Car “very good” before Grosjean clash – Maldonado

2015 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Pastor Maldonado said he was encouraged by the performance of his Lotus before his race was compromised by contact with team mate Romain Grosjean.

The pair touched in turn three early in the race after Grosjean went off the track. The contact damaged Maldonado’s rear wing, and although the team removed the damaged end plate at his first pit stop they later chose to retire the car.

“The pace was surprisingly very good,” Maldonado told reporters after the race. “So the strategy we done yesterday in qualifying was the best.”

“And then the contact with my team mate, he broke my rear wing, and after that I was completely compromised.”

Maldonado’s retirement means he is still yet to score a point this year, but he is confident that will change soon.

“The pace is there, for sure the pace is there,” he said. “And every race we show the potential is there.”

“The car performance is there, I’m driving quite good, so I’m looking forward to the next races. There is still a few races to recover so we are full focus on it.”

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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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31 comments on “Car “very good” before Grosjean clash – Maldonado”

  1. The mad max logo on his wrecked car was quite appropriate! A shame he had to retire.

    1. Actually it was Grosjean who was driving Mad today, even managed to gore a mechanic

    2. gotta admit: seeing a team with MAL and GRO as drivers advertising for a Mad Max movie was pretty funny, even if I GRO is actually one of my favorite drivers at the moment… =D

      all they had to do was having Webber in some kind of reserve driver position and they would really have a ‘Road Warrior’ kind of team!

  2. I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the FIA didn’t show the black and orange flag for Maldonado’s broke endplate. The main load from the rear wing is probably passed through the beam in the middle, but the endplate still takes a small portion of the loads (primarily to stop it from vibrating).

    What made it even more dangerous is how he kept on using his DRS. Just some background information, I have been doing some research into DRS for a Formula Student team, including a wind tunnel experiment. I can assure you, the system is much more violent than it looks: one of our test set-ups even broke (quite spectacularly) due to heavy vibrations caused by closing the DRS. Having witnessed that, my heart kinda stopped when I saw he kept using his DRS.

    I do not understand the FIA’s thinking. In last week’s F3 race, one of the drivers broke his front wing and decided it was fine enough. As soon as he turned onto the main straight, he was shown the black and orange flag. That’s exactly how the FIA should have responded. I do not understand how they can throw in a safety car for a recovery vehicle in the run-off area, but not call in a driver with a rear wing that looked like it was on the point of breaking entirely.

    1. Totally agree. When they first showed the damage I was sure the stewards would have something to say about it. If the rear wing strucure failed further, and someone was injured by debris, you’d say it was a foreseeable and avoidable accident. How was this any different to continuing around the circuit with an improperly fitted wheel? I’ll be interested to see what the explanation for doing nothing is, assuming a journalist actually asks the right question of the officials.

    2. @andae23 – Was wondering the same thing. We have seen examples in the past of what can happen with a complete rear wing failure. Very dangerous.

    3. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      10th May 2015, 16:21

      Are the endplates load bearing? I was under the belief they were basically just there for advertising space, and the centre beam gave all the actual structural support.

      1. I think it differs a bit from team to team how much load they bear, but they do take some load (or all the load, like Williams late last year). Just imagine what would happen if the wing did not have endplates, just a single column holding it up: it would flap like crazy, wouldn’t it?

    4. I have to disagree. If the team thinks it’s OK, why force him to retire?

      Alonso had front wing damage after the first lap in Malaysia in 2013. He wasn’t shown the black and orange neither and a few meters later, we were proven right there was a real safety threat.

      1. I have to disagree. If the team thinks it’s OK, why force him to retire?

        @paeschli Because it’s bloody dangerous for Maldonado and the track marshalls, that’s why.

        Also, aren’t you basically going against your own point in that second paragraph?

        1. @andae23 I’m making two points:

          1) It wasn’t dangerous IMHO.

          2) Even if it was dangerous, we’ve seen in the past the orange and black flag is never used. So it isn’t surprising it wasn’t used this time.

          1. @paeschli Fair enough. Regarding your second point, then why shouldn’t it be used more often? The reason that flag exists is to stop teams from thinking ‘it’s probably not safe to continue, but we need a good result so we’re gonna risk it anyway’. This was the perfect opportunity.

            Of course with hindsight the rear wing did not collapse, so technically the rear wing structure did not fail, but it didn’t look safe either. Could the FIA have known that the rear wing wasn’t going fail? I don’t think so. I’m just pointing out that the FIA seem to be very cautious in some areas (like throwing in a SC for Ericsson’s spin in Malaysia), but seemingly negligent in cases like this.

      2. Yeah, but he drove Fiarrari at the Time… Fia very rarely Messes with Fiarrari.

    5. @andae23 I wonder why Lotus decided to remove the endplate. If it wasn’t a black and orange the time loss and the aero loss resulting on the removal of that critical part meant Lotus should’ve retired Maldonado from the onset.

    6. I remember a race in 2005 where Raikkonen had a suspension failure while leading at the nurburgring, you could see the tire vibrating violently (and increasingly became more violent up until the final lap when it failed) for a number of laps before. They never showed him the black and orange flag. So I guess one can draw parallels there, but then again it is entirely subjective isn’t it.

      I do agree that cars with a lot of damage who continue to run more than one lap should not be allowed to do so.

      1. He didn’t have a suspension failure. He had an extremely flat tyre that gave strong vibrations. He tried to nurse it to the end but in the end the vibration caused the suspension to fail spectacularly resulting in his retirement.

  3. Andre furtado
    10th May 2015, 15:56

    He must be running out of people to crash into, or else why run into your teammate.

    1. Yeah, outside of the fact that that incident was totally Grosjean’s fault, but who cares, right?

      1. Andre furtado
        10th May 2015, 16:54

        lol he has a gift it’s all I’m saying. Doesn’t matter whose fault it is. can’t possibly be worth having him on your team. Poins loss and cost of repairs has to be significant.

        1. on this occasion and many others ones this year its not been his fault.

          He has been very unlucky this year. Im not a huge fan of his but he deserves to judged on the incidents one by one rather than it just being his fault due to who he is.

          I met him at silverstone a few years back. He come across a really nice bloke.

      2. How in the world is it Grosjean’s fault? He rejoins the track safely enough, takes the inside at T3, and Maldonado goes on the outside. He clearly knows Grosjean is on the inside, yet doesn’t leave enough room for him. He might have expected Grosjean to back off, but you don’t back off at a full-throttle corner with a rival car behind you.

  4. Should we be worried for Maldonado?DNF 4 races, and a 17th place. Beside with Venezuela´s cash flow problems how long can he keep paying?

    1. No, we shouldn’t be worried: we should be hoping that Lotus decide to replace him. Of all of the current drivers on the grid, he is the one I want dropped the most.

  5. Ok, this is totally wrong, and i’m surprised even Maldonado himself didn’t notice.
    The rear wing end-plate snapped when the DRS went down several laps previous to the contact with Grosjean.
    I think it was when he passed Verstappen. Anyone else noticed?

    And in fact, it didn’t slow him down! So the car being slower after the contact might have been all in his mind.

    1. After watching again ,i can confirm that it was the Verstappen pass on lap 8 that caused the broken rear-wing.
      It was probably the reason why he went wide in the first place.

      1. And i have also realized the incident was on lap 3 .. oops

  6. I had to go back and watch it all again; going off track was more Grosjean’s fault but the collision wasn’t. Grosjean was on the inside of the racing line of turn 3 (as in right on the edge of the paint) and Maldonado pulled into him. Unless Maldonado was expecting Grosjean to brake or get onto the grass, the collision was his doing.

    1. I have to agree here. He didn’t left enough space for Grosjean! Sometimes I think Maldonado doesn’t have a good space awareness!

    2. I believe that’s Maldonado on the inside of turn 3? He goes wide at T1 after overtaking a Red Bull (Kvyat?), comes back to the track, and then takes the inside line for turn 3. So Grosjean was the one who didn’t leave enough room on the inside.

      1. Scratch that, I got it completely wrong. Grosjean was the one who went off at T1 and is then at the inside at T3.

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