Is It Time For Pastor Maldonado To Quit F1?

Another Formula 1 race, another driver taken out of the action by Pastor Maldonado
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Williams F1 | @WilliamsF1

Williams F1 | @WilliamsF1

The best track in the world always throws up some exciting racing somewhere in the pack. It seems almost inevitable that there was going to be an unnecessary collision, and that right in the middle of it would be Pastor Maldonado.

Nicknamed “Crashtor”, the Venezuelan has, in 2 and a half years in F1, been involved in more crashes than Microsoft Windows. In total he’s failed to finish 16 of the 49 races he’s entered and has faced penalties from the stewards nearly 20 times in his F1 career, losing a massive 68 grid places (1.4 per race!) so far.

Maldonado marked his cards quite early in a coming-together with Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix in 2011.

That was ultimately judged to be Hamilton’s fault, and he was hit with a 20 second post-race penalty, but the incident hinted at what was to come. In the soggy Canadian Grand Prix that followed, he crashed all by himself with ten laps to go – but then settled down a bit until the Belgian Grand Prix.

Aggrieved at the faster Hamilton overtaking him at the end of the Q2 session when both were on fast laps, Maldonado used his car to ram Hamilton after the finish line. Qualifying was also an issue for him at Monza, taking off his front wing on the final corner – while at Korea he was reprimanded for speeding in the pitlane.

He crashed in every session of the next grand prix in India, being involved in a four car shunt in the race that ultimately led to his retirement with gearbox failure. Abu Dhabi won him a 30 second penalty for ignoring blue flags and in the season-ender at Brazil, he took himself off again less than half way into the race. He finished the season with one point – the worst tally for a Williams driver in their history.

Williams F1 | @WilliamsF1

Williams F1 | @WilliamsF1

2011 was a disaster for Williams and Maldonado, but 2012 was a horror story. He racked up the most driving penalties in a single season in F1′s entire history – hit for driving standards nine times over the course of the season, including taking out Hamilton yet again in one of the dumbest accidents he’s been in to date.

Alongside this and solo race-ending crashes in Australia, Monaco and Brazil again, he also managed to be involved in two different collisions at Spa following his ludicrous jump start. He even managed to destroy the rear suspension on a Williams FW36 during a demonstration run on the streets of Caracas…

With Williams returning to awful back-of-the-grid form in 2013, Pastor’s ability to interfere with the sharp end has been severely diminished, but he’s still managed to crash out of the Australian, Monaco and Belgian Grands Prix – again, smacking into two cars in this latest incident.

But it’s not just in F1 that Maldonado has been guilty of dangerous driving. Before he even reached the top level he was once reportedly banned from Monaco for life for an incident in the World Series by Renault in which he ignored yellow flags and hit a marshal, resulting in the marshal sustaining spinal injuries. The ban was later revised to just 9 races after rumours that wealth intervened.

There’s no denying that Pastor Maldonado can be one of the fastest drivers in the world on his day – you don’t win an F1 race by a fluke – but that’s just not enough in the fastest circuit motorsport in the world. Despite being bankrolled by the petrol-rich Venezuelan state bank and bringing vital money to Williams, he’s a loose cannon, a crash magnet and maybe even an on-track fatality waiting to happen.

The FIA banned Grosjean for crowning a series of niggling accidents with an unfortunate but relatively major one. With yet another senseless crash this weekend, is it time for Pastor to hang his helmet up voluntarily or will the FIA make him?

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  • Thijs Visser

    ”more crashes than Microsoft Windows” XD

    • Luke

      Didn’t even know that many crashes was possible!

  • Cardex94

    Mr author, im really sad to inform you that 3/4 of this note are Crap, the dirtiest and smelliest crap i ever read, yes, you have base on you info but, no, apparently you know nothing about anyone thats not in the front grid every sunday in f1, for your information, 2011 was the 1st year, an as all we know, no one is GOD on his 1st year, and is even worst with a crappy car like that infamous FW33, in 2012 he did good things, but obviusly, even for me, that year was horrible, i have to say that Pastor really screw that one up, now in 2013, the FW35 is equaly, or even worst than the FW33, and those crashes are because Pastor loses the control of the car, and in Monaco 2013, Max Chillton broke Pastors Front Wing and lost the control of his car, if it wasant beacuse todays cars are really secure, he could have got killed, beacuse of Chillton, so before writing a note about anyone, try to get some information about it, and not only express you raw opinion, beacuse coments like this are going tobe frequent

    • bob

      alright so to take a driver such as hamilton and compare them in their first year to maldonado, hamilton shouldnt have even been close to winning a championship and should have been amazingly crap just like maldonado?

      dont even bother replying to this, ill probably never be on here again

    • http://www.gtplanet.net/ Andrew Evans

      So, just to check, you agree that in 2011 he was poor, that in 2012 he was poor and that in 2013 he is poor? And that his 2013 crashes are because he loses control of the car? My, what a rebuttal.

      You’re quite right that the Monaco crash in 2013 wasn’t his fault – but I didn’t say it was. His first, at Monaco in 2011 wasn’t either – in fact I clearly said that it wasn’t and that Hamilton was blamed and punished for it.

      The problem isn’t that he caused those crashes – he’s only partially at fault for the one on Sunday – but that he is always around crashes, whether he causes them or not. Just like Grosjean was at the start of 2012, in fact – and he was banned after a crash at Spa involving three other cars that he was really only marginally at fault for. Hey, what happened to Maldonado on Sunday?

      He has one of the highest retirements due to collision statistics in the history F1 – and one of the highest retirements due to at-fault collision statistics in modern F1. He has the outright record for most driving penalties in a single season in F1 and I think he has the outright records for the most grid-place penalties in a season, in a career and per race.

      He’s also the only one of two drivers I’ve ever seen in F1 to use his car as a weapon against another driver – and the first received a retroactive season disqualification…

    • grimreaper

      Crashtor Maldonado is the only F1 driver who has ”RED MIST” and takes revenge against other drivers using his car as a WEAPON. One day Maldonado will kill somone at an F1 race and the FIA and all involved will not have a leg to stand on, as they have not acted in the best interests of F1 but just acted in the interest of MONEY.

  • Tony

    Nico Rosberg Not Finished 14 races in his first 3 years!. Webber 20!.Alonso 18!! Let your xenophobic hates far away!!!

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