• Bahrain Grand Prix

Gutierrez left me 'nowhere to go' - Maldonado

ESPN Staff
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Pastor Maldonado recieved a triple punishment for his role in the crash © Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado has insisted that he believes Esteban Gutierrez missed his braking point after the two collided during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Maldonado was exiting the pits on cold tyres at the start of Lap 41, with Gutierrez coming down the pit straight alongside him, when he took an inside line and pitched the Sauber into a frightening barrel-roll. During the race Maldonado received a ten-second stop/go penalty, and received further punishment after the race, three penalty points on his licence and a five-place grid penalty for China.

But Maldonado is unclear as to what really happened in the indent and suggested the Sauber driver could have made a mistake on entry to the corner.

"We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one - maybe he missed his braking point, I don't know - and by then I was in the corner with nowhere to go," Maldonado said. "For sure it's difficult to understand and I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it's good he jumped straight out of the car."

The incident overshadowed the fact that both Lotus cars made it to the finish for the first time this season, and Maldonado is expecting further improvements in China.

"As a team it's a plus that we finished with two cars which is very important and now we need to learn from this race and push hard for Shanghai. As we expected the pace was much better in the race than it was in qualifying. We were using quite an interesting strategy and were running on two stops which was working well until the incident.

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