Maldonado made contact with both Force India cars during the race at Spa-Francorchamps, the second impact taking out Paul Di Resta. He was given yet another penalty during the race but the punishment hasn’t had much of an impact on the Venezuelan, who says he will continue to drive in the same manner.
He believes that the penalty given by the stewards at the Belgian Grand Prix was overly harsh. Maldonado has come under fire for his aggressive driving – which made him the most penalised driver of 2012 – but is unconcerned by the reputation he has been given.
“I’m racing, this is racing. My reputation is another thing,” he is quoted by ESPN as saying. “I will race and if some people think something about me then they are free. I cannot say ‘don’t think that’.”
When asked if he feels he is sometimes picked on by the stewards, he replied: “If you make a mistake you must be penalised. But the decision they take sometimes can be quite strong. That’s my opinion.”
However, the 28-year-old acknowledged that the stewards have a tough job – although he felt his penalty in Belgium was “obviously” unfair: “It depends how is the view from their side. It’s like football. It’s always difficult to say from the outside, and even [difficult to explain] from the inside if you are trying to explain to them and they are not properly in the place. I think what happened in Spa is clear; very clear and obvious. And I think it’s unfair that I got the penalty.”
Williams has so far struggled for pace with their latest challenger, the FW35, with Maldonado scoring the teams sole point so far at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Rookie Valtteri Bottas has made a positive impact on the sport but hasn’t had the car to challenge for points scoring positions.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic