• Spanish GP - Qualifying

Crash not down to driver error - Maldonado

ESPN Staff
May 10, 2014 « Grosjean not expecting to go backwards in race | I needed one more lap for win - Rosberg »
Pastor Maldonado's crash scuppered Lotus' hopes of getting both drivers to Q3 © Getty Images
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Pastor Maldonado insists he is blameless for the crash which saw his hopes of a top-ten grid position go up in smoke.

Maldonado entered qualifying in high hopes after Lotus demonstrated a step forward in Friday and Saturday's practice sessions, which would later see Romain Grosjean earn fifth on the grid.. But in the opening stages of Q1 Maldonado's session ended in the wall, as he lost the car coming out of Turn 3, an unusual place to spin the car.

Though not sure exactly what the issue was Maldonado is convinced an issue with the tyres was the likely culprit.

"We have been having a look," Maldonado said. "I think it was something to do with tyre temperature or pressure. It was severe, the car just skated. It's a very fast corner. When I had the chance I went over the green part which is more slippery and I even lost more of the car over there, and that was it.

"We don't know, the engineers are still looking at the data. It was at the exit of the corner. We don't know exactly why I was all over the place. They think it is related to the temperatures, especially the rears."

After seeing Grosjean qualify so well Maldonado is sure he could have been alongside his team-mate on the third row had he not gone out in Q1. He also thinks Lotus' sudden improvement is down to everything coming together for the team rather than a specific update.

"Even looking at our pace yesterday we were supposed to be in the top six. Our plan was to do some more long runs and the pace was a lot better than that what we saw in the past. I think there is nothing in particular we improved, we just put everything together. It's working a lot better, we don't know how it will go at the others but here it is good.

"I think engine is a bit different, but even the car has improved a lot because we've been able to manage all the small problems in terms of balance, aero efficiency, and so many problems with brake-by-wire, we had so many problems with the rear tyres but now the car seems more compact."

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