Pastor Maldonado says he is annoyed to see his mistakes being singled out while other Formula One drivers get a free pass in similar circumstances.
The Venezuelan started competing in the top flight at Williams in 2011, having graduated in the wake of his GP2 Series title. Maldonado was seen as a diamond-in-a-rough sort of talent that would need polishing. Although his raw speed has never really been in doubt, the 30-year-old has grown a reputation as a crash-prone racer.
Maldonado has been involved in his fair share of on-track incidents this season, as indicated by a nine-retirement record and complaints from rivals about his driving. But the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner feels any of his actions comes under greater scrutiny compared to other drivers.
“On the track it is always a competition and I always want to gain places or to defend,” Maldonado is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “It is a part of the game, especially when we are fighting closely for position.
“Fighting with some drivers is easier than some other ones. I try to be competitive and hard on the track… there are some drivers that are hard on the track, like Fernando [Alonso], and when you fight with him he is very hard.
“We are all here for the same objective. When I do a mistake without touching anyone, everybody is surprised and this is the news of the day. Other drivers crash and have incidents, nothing happens.
“Look at Bottas and Kimi [Raikkonen] – [they clashed] two times, but now all quiet and normal. Simple race incident, I have a stupid contact, everyone is 'argh'.”
Having received six penalty points over the course of the 2015 season, Maldonado, who has a contract to race for Renault next year, adds that stewards are not always consistent in their decisions.
“They have different views at different races. I saw during the year so many crashes and incidents against two different drivers and they were maybe not that hard on the decisions. Sometimes with me they are a bit harder, but it is part of the game.”
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