• Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Maldonado relegated ten places

ESPN Staff
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Pastor Maldonado missed the call to the weighbridge when returning to the pit lane during Q2 © Sutton Images

Pastor Maldonado has been handed a ten-place grid penalty after receiving his third reprimand of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Midway through the second part of qualifying, Maldonado missed a call to the weighbridge from the FIA which was marked by a red light and an official in the pit lane. He went on to make it through to the final part of qualifying and originally qualified sixth before being called to see the stewards.

He explained to ESPN that he thought the light had been turned on late by the official manning it: "There was a difficult moment because they turned the light on quite late and the pit entry is quite narrow and you are low in the car with a hill - and it's big one. I didn't see the light and I was at the same time moving my hand to set down the brake balance in order to stop in the box. Maybe a little mistake but at the same time the steward who turned on the light did a mistake as well. It was the first time as well that we ran with 100 km/h in the pit lane."

Maldonado was handed a reprimand for the incident, which was his third of the season and results in an automatic ten-place grid penalty. The punishment relegates Maldonado to 16th on the grid, most significantly promoting Fernando Alonso to seventh place; three behind his championship rival Sebastian Vettel.

Nico Hulkenberg will now start sixth ahead of Alonso, with Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta rounding out the top ten grid positions.