Lotus have revealed that an exhaust failure was responsible for Pastor Maldonado’s late retirement from the British Grand Prix.
Maldonado was running 11th, just outside the points, when he stopped out on circuit with just three laps of the race remaining.
While Lotus have singled out the exhaust as the reason for the Venezuelan’s retirement, they remain unsure on exactly what caused the failure itself, questioning if the problem could have come about from Maldonado’s contact with Esteban Gutierrez at Vale.
Maldonado’s car lifted all four wheels off the ground in the incident, for which Gutierrez was later handed a grid penalty for the German Grand Prix.
“Pastor suffered from an exhaust problem at the end of his race so we’ll investigate the cause of that, especially as he was involved in contact with another car during the course of the race,” explained Lotus’ Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane.
Maldonado, who was the last of the classified runners in 17th, admitted that progress in the race had been difficult even before his contact with Gutierrez.
“My first start felt good but after the restart we struggled for power so I wasn’t able to fight with the cars around me,” he said. “I still pushed as best I could but making progress was difficult.
“There was contact from Esteban Gutierrez, the result of which I’m told looked spectacular, but in the car it was over very quickly and we kept on racing.
“We’re not sure if this added to the cause of my retirement, certainly the rear wing was moving about more than normal so we don’t know yet what other damage there was.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic