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Maldonado to suffer Abu Dhabi penalty
Pastor Maldonado will take a ten-place grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he will be forced to use his ninth engine of the season.
Maldonado's weekend in India was disrupted by mechanical problems, with a blown engine in Free Practice 1 being followed up by a gearbox problem when running a competitive 12th in the race. With the regulations stating that drivers are only allowed to use a maximum of eight engines per season, chief operations engineer Mark Gillan confirmed that the second failure would also disadvantage him at the Yas Marina circuit.
"We need to ensure we have a trouble free weekend and then it is possible that we can make it into Q3," Gillan said. "Although as Pastor will use a ninth engine in Abu Dhabi, due to damage incurred following the gearbox failure in India, he will therefore incur a subsequent 10-place grid penalty."
The improved competitiveness from Maldonado before his retirement was due to an updated floor, which Gillan said had seen the team make progress since Korea.
"We made a decent step forward in performance, especially in our long run pace, from Korea to India which was helped with a well correlated (wind tunnel to track) floor upgrade."