Maldonado: Ricciardo triggered first lap accident

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Pastor Maldonado says Daniel Ricciardo’s initial ‘mistake’ on the opening lap had a knock-on effect that took him and Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean out of last weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Coming off two consecutive seventh-place finishes, the Venezuelan had qualified a lowy 14th at Silverstone. Maldonado’s race only lasted three corners when Grosjean collected him on the outside of Turn 3, which forced the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner into an early retirement.

“I think Ricciardo made a mistake,” Maldonado told F1i. “He went a bit too deep on the inside of Romain. I was just unlucky, I was on the outside passing them and Romain jumped over my car, just because Ricciardo touched his right front.

“There was a lot of damage on the car – rear right, rear left, and then on the sidepods and radiators – it could not be repaired.”

Lotus’ double DNF means the Enstone-based outfit has lost some ground in the Constructors’ race to fifth-placed Force India, which claimed eight points at Silverstone with its heavily upgraded VJM08.

However, Maldonado remains confident his squad can prevail in the midfield thanks to the evolutions Lotus plans to introduce later in the season.

“I think our level is similar – sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse – to Force India. They have a lot of upgrades now. Before they were ahead [in Austria], now they seem very similar to us.

“Upgrades are coming, so hopefully we can have them as soon as possible and make a big jump.

“I’m confident. All the team is working hard and there’s a good atmosphere. It’s good and we’re making progress. We just need to forget about this weekend. Looking only two weeks ago, we were quite good. So let's keep doing like this.”

Click here for F1i's driver ratings from the British Grand Prix

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