FIA sees Maldonado's guilt
E a lap before the incident, Maldonado had already had another collision. In the porter's curve in front of the tunnel, he crashed into Sergio Perez's Sauber from the side. The Mexican was on a slow lap. Maldonado obviously felt disabled. 'It drove him completely unnecessarily,' complained Peter Sauber afterwards.
After the session, both drivers had to compete with the FIA stewards. After hearing both sides, the referees blamed Maldonado for the avoidable collision. The penalty: In the starting grid, the South American is ten places back. The TV pictures had shown that the Williams had taken the curve tighter than necessary to cut the Sauber.
Another penalty for Maldonado?
Maldonado had already attracted negative attention with a similar maneuver last season. At the Belgian GP he had pitted against Lewis Hamilton during training and collided with the McLaren while driving slowly. At that time, the starfe for the hot-blooded Venezuelan was only five places. Now the FIA has gone one category higher for the repeat offender.
For Maldonado, who was one of the favorites for the Monaco GP, this means a major setback. It is well known that overtaking is difficult in the Principality. But maybe things get worse for the Williams pilot. If the gear was damaged in the crash and had to be replaced, another five places penalty would be added.
Warning against Hülkenberg
In addition to the collision with Maldonado, had to Perez survived a sticky situation. At the end of a fast lap, the 22-year-old ran into Nico Hülkenberg's Force India in the Rascasse corner. The German suddenly braked heavily to get space for his quick attempt. Perez was just about able to prevent a rear-end collision. With a warning from the race management, Hülkenberg got off lightly.
Incidentally, Maldonado is not the only driver who is pushed back after qualifying. Michael Schumacher has to drop five places after his crash in Barcelona (with Bruno Senna). The fact that two fast cars are further behind will add a little more flavor to the race on Sunday.