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Gillan defends Maldonado's driving

ESPN Staff
July 10, 2012 « Webber signs new Red Bull deal | Montezemolo praises Massa drive »
Pastor Maldonado has been involved in a number of incidents in his short grand prix career so far © Sutton Images

Mark Gillan has defended Pastor Maldonado after his collision with Sergio Perez in the British Grand Prix resulted in an angry reaction from the Sauber driver.

Perez accused Maldonado of being "a very dangerous driver" and said that "everybody has concerns about him" after Maldonado took him out of Sunday's race at Silverstone. The pair clashed during practice at Monaco earlier this season, with Maldonado penalised and then crashing out on the first lap, before he also took out Lewis Hamilton in Valencia and eventually finished outside the points after a post-race penalty.

As the incidents begin to mount up Gillan dismissed Perez's view and said that the team saw the latest clash as no more than a racing incident.

"We looked at it; in our opinion Perez squeezed Pastor," Gillan said. "Pastor had the inside line, he braked, he locked the wheels and effectively grabbed the car. You can see a heavy twitch where he's fighting the car and the back end pushed right and hit Perez, so to me it is a racing incident. I can't see anything in it myself.

"Pastor is a real fighter. He's quick, he's a robust person on track and we've had a few incidents in the last number of races. I think this was unfortunate but to me it's a racing incident. I can't see anything in it."

Gillan admitted that the team does speak to Maldonado after such incidents, but said it would not affect his driving or confidence.

"Of course we [speak to him]. We say that 'you've got to bring it home' to both the drivers, but with this one when he braked he was on the line and the car unfortunately just lost grip and he just couldn't control it. He definitely didn't want to hit Perez, that's for sure.

"He is very mentally robust and certainly that's a major strength of his. He's not fazed by it and he just wants to drive the car as quickly as he can - and he usually does. So I don't have any worries about that at all."