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Is bad boy Pastor crash-happy?

2012-09-03 07:40

IN HOT WATER: Pastor Maldonado has been hit with twin penalties following Sunday's Belgian F1 GP.

Alan Baldwin

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Venezuelan Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado will have a 10-place penalty on the grid for the September Italian F1 GP for a false start and then causing a collision at Sunday's GP here.

The Williams driver has collected more sanctions than any other driver this season and started Sunday's race at Spa with a three-place penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg's Force India in qualifying.


Race stewards said in two statements that they had handed the Venezuelan a five-place sanction for Monza for jumping the start and a further five places for causing a collision later in the race - which he failed to finish.


Maldonado has been both saint and sinner this season, winning in Barcelona from pole in May for Williams's first race victory since 2004. He also has many millions of sponsorship dollars from his country's state oil company but he's also cost them fistfuls of precious points through wild driving.

He started the season by crashing out in Australia on the last lap while sixth and picked up his first penalty of the year in Bahrain in April for an unscheduled gearbox change. That wasn't his fault and he had a flawless drive in Spain.

He then blotted his copybook with two penalties in Monaco, one for 10 places after he caused a collision with Sauber's Mexican Sergio Perez and the other for a further five when the damage meant another gearbox change.

Penalty No.4 came at the Canadian GP in June when he needed another new gearbox after hitting Montreal's notorious "Wall of Champions" in qualifying. In Valencia he collided with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and was hit with a 20-second time penalty for causing it. That ruling knocked him out of the points.

Maldonado was fined €10 000 (about R100 000) and reprimanded at July's British GP in July for causing another collision with Perez that cost him any hope of points.

Perez complained afterwards: "He doesn't respect other drivers. This guy will never learn if they don't do something. He could hurt someone. Everybody has concerns about him."

In Hungary in July Maldonado was handed a drive-through penalty for colliding with Force India's Paul Di Resta. He finished 13th.

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