Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Monza, 2015

Ericsson contact was a racing incident – Maldonado

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado has shrugged off blame for his collision with Marcus Ericsson during the Brazilian Grand Prix, despite being held responsible by the stewards.

The Lotus driver was given a five-second time penalty plus a penalty point on his licence for the contact, but Maldonado believes Ericsson would have done the same in his position.

“There’s a saying that rubbing’s racing,” said Maldonado. “In Formula One it sometimes feels like you get penalised for every bit of contact.”

“I went for a gap that was there – and we all want to see overtaking in Formula One – and he closed the gap whilst defending his position.”

“I saw it as a racing incident, and on a corner like turn one in Brazil the driver on the outside will usually come off worse. We spoke after the race and all’s fine between us. I think pretty much the same would have happened if positions were reversed and he had tried the same move on me.”

Maldonado’s penalty was his eighth of the year for a driving infringement, the most of any driver on the grid.

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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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36 comments on “Ericsson contact was a racing incident – Maldonado”

  1. Does not surprise me too much. But its sad that he still has not learnt to see his own mistakes for what they are.

    1. Doesn’t surprise me either. What annoys me, is that after all these years and incidents with penalties, he still can’t get it through his thick skull that there is a certain racer’s etiquette. Pastor is the stubborn donkey of f1.

      1. Pastor is the stubborn donkey of f1.

        Don’t you dare compare Pastor to donkeys. It’s not fair to the donkeys.

  2. Maldonado quoting Days of Thunder. Is this real life?

    1. LOL. “And rubbing son, is racing.”

      What if they built bumper-car style bars around the entire car? then they could really increase the spectacle! Crashtor would thrive.

  3. Even stewards are bored of investigating this guy.. :D

    1. In Maldonado’s eyes, everything is a gap.

      Even the walls.

      1. Maldonado IS a racing incident :P

      2. Ayyyyyyy lmao :D Print that on his Jersey and Car
        in bold
        and red.
        Twice.

      3. The first ‘Reverse Caption Competition’ winner; great Caption, we can all imagine the Photo!

    2. “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.”

      “If you go for a gap that no longer exists, you are Pastor Maldonado.”

    3. that was my exact reaction to all of this, surely the hardcore Senna fans who cannot see past his faults should love Maldonado’s style of driving (admittingly he takes it to another extreme!)

  4. I actually agreed with Maldonado on this one at the time. He was committed with late braking on the inside – Ericsson could have turned in a bit later and then sat on the apex of T2 to stay in front.

    Maybe he sees how much of a cliche it now is, Keith.. but also I’ve noticed Maldonado has been much calmer on track since the death of Jules, who was a close friend.

    1. Maldonado lost control there. Lucky, not to have shunted it again. Had ericsson been just brushed aside rather than spun around I think the FIA could have just cut some slack.

  5. We’ve really gone into a stage where he gets the blame for everything. It was his fault surely but not to the extent a penalty was needed.

    1. @xtwl Gained advantage out of throwing his opponent off track. I guess you are one of the fans that say Bottas was rightfully absolved from the Mexico incident. I think had this been a Ric on Rai Monaco move, I would applaud the audacity and risk of the dirty move but Maldonado spun Ericsson around.

  6. It was during a race and you can definitely describe two cars colliding as an incident so I can’t fault his logic.

    You went for the gap as it was closing that’s the difference. It’s why Kimi got a penalty in Russia and Bottas didn’t in Mexico.

    If a driver is ahead on the racing line and you aim at the apex they are inevitably going to hit that’s causing an accident.

    If like Bottas in Mexico you are already side by side with the car ahead and they move in on you that’s being able to do nothing to avoid it.

    This was a consistent decision by the stewards.

    1. @philipgb Don’t agree with Mexico because of the consistency you claim the stewards have had. Honestly as long there’s no forcing off track or crash every move is fine by me.

      1. Both Raikkonen and Maldonado dived at the apex from behind the driver they were attacking. That driver had the racing line and was taking it unobstructed when they were then hit from behind.

        Bottas was alongside Raikkonen in the braking zone and into corner entry already, Raikkonen then turned in on him while he was already there.

        The stewards having given Raikkonen a penalty for his incident were then consistent in reprimanding Maldonado as well.

        After investigating Mexico they saw Bottas wasn’t at fault and Raikkonen had already taken himself out of the race so no further action was needed.

  7. It’s not even the fact he causes these accidents that annoys me, it’s his blind ignorance afterwards. Every racing driver at some point in his/her career, will have to say at least once: “this was my mistake”, and I’m just not seeing that with Maldonado.

    A few of the accidents might not be his fault, but as the saying goes: there’s no smoke without fire. He always involved in accident where other drivers wouldn’t have been, and that is not the mark of a good driver.

    The best drivers can avoid most accidents regardless of who’s fault it would be.

  8. I went for a gap that was there

    Looking at the video, most of Maldonado’s car went off the track on the approach to the apex of the left hand corner. The On Board Camera from his car shows his right front tyre was on the line indicating the track limits as he was approaching the apex, meaning only the right hand tyres were legal. The rest of his car had ridden up onto the kerb. I don’t know how F1 defines being “off the track”, but another 10 cm to the left and he’d have been outside the track limits. Considering the speeds, it should have been obvious to Maldonado that he was on a collision course with Ericsson.

    1. That is… “going for the gap”…

      Track limits are defined as atleast 2 wheels within the white line. So 2 can go of…

      1. If what you say is correct, with one wheel definitely on the white line and two are outside of it, then there were less than the minimum 2 wheels required to be within the white lines designating the track, so the car is off the track, ergo there was no gap.

    2. Yes, Maldonado was completely on the inside of the turn, still Ericsson cut accross him. There was so much room for the Sauber driver to use. Ericsson should have left a car width. He would still have been ahead in the next turn to right.
      This was just a racing incident. Maybe Pastor was too optimistic, maybe Ericsson was too defensive. Anyway the penalty was unnecessary and I guess awarded for reputation only.

      1. Ericsson was on the racing line, Maldonado wasn’t, by one definition he wasn’t even on the race track. I think Maldonado got of lightly, I think he deserved a much harsher penalty.

        1. Maldonado was on a racing line too, just one trying to avoid being hit by the Sauber.

          Consider the Verstappen-overtakes, those were only possible because the defending cars cooperated. If the defending driver had not taken the regular racing line, but let his car run to the outer edge of the track, Verstappen couldn’t turn in. Hence no overtake. Such behaviour by the defending driver is in general considered unsporting behaviour, but in case of contact would’t lead to a penalty for either (I think).
          Now the attacking car is on the other side. Apparently it is considered sporting behaviour for the defending driver to let his car run to the inner edge of the track.
          Maldonado was probably just as much alonside Ericsson as Verstappen was on Perez. Had Perez drifted wide and forced Verstappen to (or over) the edge of the track, who would be the bad guy?

  9. Forrest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does

  10. “There’s a saying that rubbing’s racing,” said Maldonado.

    Then maybe he should switch to touring cars, where a bit of contact doesn’t normally result in spins or broken suspension.

    Having said that, the latest crop of BTCC racers have rather fragile suspension…

  11. It was, after all, “Not his fault”…

  12. Maldonado deserves the penalty.

    1. I think he deserves another penalty after these ridiculous statements

  13. “There’s a saying that rubbing’s racing,” said Maldonado.

    Not in Formula 1. In Formula 1, rubbing’s crashing. These cars are not built to touch wheels and whenever they do so without crashing out, it’s luck. Change approach or change career.

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