Bianchi protests innocence after receiving penalty points
30 March 2014 – Jules Bianchi has insisted that he was unable to avoid making contact with Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Bianchi and Maldonado collided under braking for Turn Four and the stewards deemed that the French driver was at fault for the contact.
But Bianchi, who was handed a five second stop and go penalty and had his racing licensed endorsed with two points, has stressed that the collision was a result of earlier contact.
"Unfortunately the situation with Maldonado was a consequence of what happened off the start, when [Jean-Éric] Vergne hit me from behind and punctured my left rear tyre," he said.
"Quite simply I could not avoid Maldonado; there was nothing I could do."
Bianchi served his penalty but retired soon after when Marussia detected a brake problem with his MR03.
"We came in to change the tyres and to fit a new front wing but when I returned to the track the car was not easy to drive and we suspected a problem with the brakes," he said. "We could not continue to drive this way and had no choice but to retire. It was disappointing to end my race after eight laps and this is not the reward the team deserves after a week where we seemed to make good progress through the sessions."