Maldonado given 10-place drop for Pérez chop
26 May 2012 – Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 10-place grid penalty ahead of qualifying in Monaco. During this morning’s final practice session, the Venezuelan was adjudged to have purposely driven into the Sauber of Sergio Pérez.
The incident started at final corner Anthony Noghes, when Maldonado was following Pérez and the two cars made contact; a similar incident had previously occurred when Pérez slowed to avoid the back of Nico Hülkenberg’s Force India.
However, when rounding the Portier on the following lap, Maldonado forcefully cut across the front of the Sauber after being allowed through; the aggressive moment was almost a carbon copy of the incident between Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton in Belgium last year.
After Maldonado’s right-rear wheel bumped into the Sauber, resulting in an angry reaction from Pérez, the former crashed heavily in Casino Square; it is possible the accident was caused by a damaged rear wheel from the earlier collision.
With both drivers having shared their versions of events with the FIA stewards, including 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell, it was unsurprisingly decided that Maldonado was at fault and the Williams driver – a Monaco expert in junior formulae – will therefore be put back ten places on the grid from wherever he qualifies this afternoon.
- Video footage of the moment can be viewed at GPUpdate TV
Qualifying for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report