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Maldonado crashes into pit entry during China practice // The Lotus driver struggles in early Shanghai sessions

Published by Christine

Maldonado crashes into pit entry during China practice
Credit: Alastair Staley/Lotus F1 Team
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Pastor Maldonado had a very difficult Friday at the Shanghai International Circuit, spinning off track in both practice sessions, and ending his day with the Lotus car embedded in the wall at the pit entry. Or, as trackside operations boss Alan Permane put it, he “had a little mishap.” In the first session, he ran wide off track during the outlap as he was adjusting something on the steering wheel.

The driver is on the back foot already this weekend, carrying a five place grid penalty from his Bahrain accident with Esteban Gutiérrez. He was handed the penalty after picking up a 10 second stop/go in the race itself, and earning himself some penalty points at the same time.

The Venezuelan has hit out at the strength of the stewards’ decision though, saying he considered the contact with the Sauber to be a normal incident. And he thinks the harsh penalties this year may stifle the action, saying: “We need to avoid the incident but at the same time you cannot race. You need to only stay on track and wait for problems for the others because if you attack and your manoeuvre is maybe not that clear, or maybe the guy is defending the place, you can be penalised.”