Pastor Maldonado hit with China grid drop and penalty points for Gutierrez crash
Venezuelan had already been issued with in-race stop/go sanction
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 07/04/14 10:42am
What proved the most spectacular incident of Sunday's breathless Sakhir race occured on lap 41 when Maldonado, who had just exited the pitlane, smashed into the side of Gutierrez's C33 under braking for Turn One, with the impact pitching the Mexican into a frightening barrel-roll.
The incident was immediately put under investigation by the stewards' office and Maldonado, who managed to continue the race and eventually finish 14th, was soon issued with a ten-second stop/go penalty.
However, the punishment for the Venezuelan didn't stop there with the stewards also issuing him with a five-place grid drop for the next race in China and putting three points on his Super Licence.
Speaking after the race, Maldonado said he was a bit uncertain as to how the incident unfolded.
"We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one - maybe he missed his braking point, I don't know - and by then I was in the corner with nowhere to go," he said.
"For sure it's difficult to understand and I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it's good he jumped straight out of the car."
Despite the heavy force of the impact, Gutierrez was able to clamber out of his stricken C33 and was taken to the circuit's medical centre for mandatory checks. Sauber tweeted later that "everything is fine" with the 22-year-old.
Good news! @EstebanGtz has completed all medical checks and everything is fine. He has been released from the hospital.- Sauber F1 Team (@OfficialSF1Team) April 6, 2014