Maldonado hit with penalty

Saturday 01-September-2012 17:53

Pastor Maldonado has been demoted three grid places after he was ruled to have blocked Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Having achieved a brilliant third-place qualification, the Williams driver's day was soured when it was confirmed that he had been found guilty of blocking his German counterpart.

"The driver of Car 18 was warned by his team not to "hold up" Car 12 which was behind him, yet he clearly did impede Car 12. However as Car 12 continued into Q2 a more severe penalty was not considered appropriate," the race stewards said in a statement.

As a result, Maldonado falls back to sixth on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen moving up to third, Sergio Perez taking a spot on the second row and Fernando Alonso bumped up to fifth.

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