• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Blue flag penalties inconsistent - Maldonado

ESPNF1 Staff
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Pastor Maldonado: "For me, it was completely wrong" © Getty Images
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Pastor Maldonado believes his penalties for ignoring blue flags at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were unfair and inconsistent with similar situations this season.

Maldonado was penalised twice for blocking cars that were looking to lap him at Yas Marina on Sunday, receiving a drive-through penalty for his first offence and a stop-go penalty for his second, which was issued after the race as a 30-second time penalty.

Article 20.4 of the sporting regulations states: "As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown to indicate that he must allow the following driver to overtake. Any driver who is deemed to be ignoring the waved blue flags will be reported to the stewards of the meeting."

But Maldonado, who admits he saw the cars behind him, reckons the stewards were more vigilant in Abu Dhabi than they have been at other venues this season.

"I saw the guys, for sure, but I cannot lose four seconds every time," he told Williams' podcast. "I think in the past it is always the same for everybody. Even when I get the Virgin cars or the Hispania cars I'm always losing time so this is part of the job, especially when you are fighting for the points."

His second penalty was issued for blocking Mark Webber and Felipe Massa while he was in his own battle for position with Jaime Alguersuari.

"In that moment I was fighting with Alguersuari so it was a difficult decision," he said. "But I'm really disappointed because it's the first time this year that they [the stewards] have done that and taken that decision. For me, it was completely wrong."

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