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Maldonado shrugs off mounting penalty points

ESPN Staff
May 21, 2014 « Ferrari still waiting for Mattiacci lift - Alonso | Hamilton confident of finding another level »
Pastor Maldonado got three points for flipping Esteban Gutierrez in Bahrain © Getty Images

Pastor Maldonado insists he will not take a more cautious approach to this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, despite racking up his fourth penalty point of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Maldonado is a third of the way towards a race ban after just a quarter of the season as a result of the three points he received in Bahrain for flipping Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber and his single point in Spain for making contact with Marcus Ericsson's Caterham. He believes he was treated harshly by the stewards in both incidents and is not yet worried about the looming threat of a race ban.

"It's not affecting me," he said. "For sure the incident with the Sauber car [in Bahrain] I got the points and it's okay. Sometimes you need to accept, but in my opinion it was a bit too much because of the result of the incident when he took off for whatever reason. Last week I got a point for nothing. If you go back to China, the people on the start had contact and nothing happened, I had a small contact and I got one point. It's like that."

Maldonado said it was difficult to speculate why he has got himself involved in so many scrapes this season.

"For sure it's always easier to talk after or before, but for sure it's not the ideal situation. We need to learn from the mistake and try to improve. I think it's a combination of many things. Trying too hard … but at the same time we were not 100% with the car and it was not doing what I wanted.

"Maybe it's because I want to do very well and more than I can, I am doing some mistakes. It's quite busy in the car with the buttons and setting changes, maybe I suffer a little bit but it's also the same for everyone, so I don't think it's the key for that."

Asked whether he was worried about being the butt of jokes on social media, he added: "It's okay, I'm used to having a lot of criticisms. It's normal and it's normal when you come from South America and you have a country pushing very hard for you. They are used to seeing me at the top in the other categories and then in Formula One they are not seeing that. It's okay, it's a free world, everyone can say what they want."

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