Formula 1

Pastor Maldonado makes peace with Esteban Gutierrez

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Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez have put their differences aside after the pair's incident in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Venezuelan driver crashed into the side of Gutierrez on lap 41 of the 57-lap race, flipping the car in a horrific looking crash.

Maldonado exited the pit-lane and took the first corner on a different line to the Mexican, before making the seemingly avoidable contact.The Sauber driver was taken to hospital after the incident, which he did walk away from, and was thankfully uninjured.

Pastor Maldonado told reporters: "We have been in touch. He said he didn't see me, and I didn't expect him to turn in."

Maldonado has been the one who most people have seemed to blame for the incident, especially being the more experienced driver, but he says:

"It was a misunderstanding from both sides. He was out of line in the entry of the corner, and I was completely committed to the corner."

The crash ended the race of Gutierrez while Maldonado was able to continue on and claim a 14th place finish for his Lotus team. 

However, Maldonado has found himself punished with a five-place penalty grid-drop for the next race, the Chinese Grand Prix in just under one weeks time. That was on top of the 10-second stop and go penalty which he received during the race.

Maldonado has also been given three points on his super license. If a driver collects 12-points on his license he will be awarded a one-race ban.

It is not the first time in which Pastor Maldonado has been involved in crashes with other cars, and he has been regularly criticised for his driving style. Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez have felt the force of Maldonado's car in the past, while he has also crashed his chassis when driving for Williams in a demonstration.

The 29-year-old has found it difficult to win many supporters in his time in Formula One, with many labelling him with the unwanted tag of 'pay driver'. It must be said that the sponsorship which he brings with him from Venezuela has a key part to play in him finding a drive so easily. Notably ahead of the hugely talented Nico Hulkenburg at Lotus this year.

But Pastor is a GP2 champion and a Formula One race winner in his own right. Though that is the only ever time he has been on the podium.

No points so far for Pastor this season, in what is a hugely struggling Lotus car. He will have to keep his head down and aim to keep out of any more trouble to win over some of his doubters. His next aim will be to get some valuable points for his teams' aims of finishing respectably in the constructors' standings this coming weekend in China.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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