It’s fair to say that Pastor Maldonado has something of a talent for picking up penalties: pit lane speeding, crashing into his fellow drivers, jumping the start – we could go on…
Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix saw the Lotus driver add a new penalty to his repertoire: a five-second time penalty for not being in his correct grid slot at the start of the race.
A few drivers have fallen victim to this over the years, with the most recent being Fernando Alonso at the 2014 British Grand Prix, where he started forward of his grid markings by almost half a car length.
Giancarlo Fisichella twice managed the feat at the Malaysian Grand Prix, lining up on the wrong side of the grid!
But Maldonado’s effort was special in its own right: having qualified 16th-fastest and failing to make it out of Q1, where might he have tried to start the race to gain an advantage?
Eighteenth – two spots back from there he should have lined up.
If you’re going to cheat, at least do it properly…
It was a penalty indicative of the Venezuelan’s troubled 2015 campaign to-date. Having failed to finish any of the preceding three Grands Prix, Pastor at least saw the chequered flag for the first time this season, albeit a lapped fifteenth after losing time in his final pit stop when his engine stalled as he entered the pits.
Image via Lotus F1 Team