Maldonado fears penalties will ruin on-track action

Friday 18th April 2014, 00:01 by Ryan Wood 

Pastor Maldonado believes on-track action could suffer as a result of overzealous race stewards handing out penalties for minor incidents which could be considered 'racing incidents'.

The Venezuelan was one of the most heavily penalised last year after he was involved in numerous incidents. After just three races this year, Maldonado has already been given a five-place grid penalty for running into Esteban Gutierrez and flipping his Sauber.

Maldonado believes it was simply a racing incident, dramatised by the angle in which the two collided which caused the car to roll.

"It was a soft crash," he told Autosport. "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."

The threat of a penalty for attempting an overtake might cause drivers to take an overly-cautious approach, according to the Lotus driver.

"You cannot race," he added. "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.

"We are racing drivers and we are always taking risks. So they [the FIA] need to be slightly more flexible."

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