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Maldonado wary of points penalty system

Friday 18-April-2014 02:29

Pastor Maldonado is worried the points penalty system will stop drivers from racing each other as they fear the consequences.

The Lotus driver is one of five who has been hit with penalty points on his licence, a new system introduced this season.

Any driver accumulating 12 points during a 12 month period will be hit with an automatic one race ban.

And Maldonado, who already has three points after three races, fears this could prevent drivers from racing each other hard and taking opportunities.

"The rules are the same for everyone, so you need to avoid incidents," he told Autosport. "But at the same time [the threat of penalties means] you cannot race, you need to only stay on track and wait for problems.

"If you attack and your manoeuvre is not that clear, or the guy is defending the place and you have a gamble, and you are fighting, you can be penalised.

"So they [the FIA] need to be slightly more flexible.

"We are racing drivers and we are always taking risks. If you are competitors and you can overtake, you need to take risks - but at the same point the rules are going against the spectaculars.

"Ten years ago everyone was fighting and touching each other, because there were no penalties. Now we need to adapt ourselves."

The Venezuelan driver, who was handed his points as well as a five-place penalty for the Chinese GP after the stewards deemed him responsible for crashing into Estaban Gutierrez in Bahrain, also maintained that he did little wrong in that collision.

"It was a soft crash," he said. "In my opinion it was a normal race contact - but because of the low nose as soon as I touched his sidepod he took off immediately.

"So it was a bit shocking from that point of view, and I didn't expect him to fly like that. But that is what we have.

"I think the penalty was related to the magnitude of what we saw, but not because of the contact.

"In my opinion, it was exactly the same as [Jules] Bianchi. It was normal race contact."

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