Maldonado, Gutierrez clear the air

Saturday 12-April-2014 10:24

Pastor Maldonado has cleared the air with Esteban Gutierrez after putting the Sauber driver out of the Bahrain GP in a terrifying crash.

Maldonado T-boned Gutierrez on lap 40 of the Sakhir race with the impact flipping the Sauber, which luckily for Gutierrez did a full 360 to come to a rest on its wheels.

Penalised with a stop-go during the grand prix, Maldonado has also been handed a five-place grid penalty for next weekend's Chinese GP.

The Lotus driver has since spoken with Gutierrez and remains adamant they both made mistakes.

"We have been in touch," he said.

"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.

"He said he didn't see me, and I didn't expect him to turn in."

The Venezuelan driver's E22 somehow escaped without damage and he finished in 14th place while his team-mate Romain Grosjean was 12th.

It was the struggling Lotus team's first double finish of the Championship.

"It was a tough weekend, especially as the pace of the car wasn't what we had hoped for.

"But at the same time we were able to finish all the sessions and the race without any problems. That was a big positive in terms of reliability.

"I think the collaborative work with Renault is helping us make steps forward.

"The car is improving, and race reliability was the first step in this process. Now we need to focus on performance.

"The potential is there, we just need to focus and continue to push hard."

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