Maldonado penalised for crash
Senna promoted into points at Williams team-mate's expense
Last Updated: June 26, 2012 9:02am
Pastor Maldonado has been handed out a twenty-second penalty, demoting the South American from a points-paying position for the European Grand Prix, after ramming Lewis Hamilton out of Sunday's race in Valencia.
After hearing the accounts of both drivers following the dramatic grand prix, the stewards meted out the penalty against the Williams driver for "failing to rejoin the track in a safe manner".
Maldonado had all four wheels off the track prior to re-joining the circuit and immediately colliding into Hamilton's McLaren, shunting the 2008 World Champion into the wall and out of the race.
As a result of Maldonado's punishment, Williams team-mate Bruno Senna has been promoted to tenth, the final points position.
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Rather remarkably, Maldonado strived to pin the blame on Hamilton when he spoke to the press after the race, insisting that the McLaren driver had been guilty of 'aggressive' behaviour.
"I tried to pass him, he was struggling too much with the tyres," Maldonado told Sky Sports News.
"I was very quick at the end and he tried to put me out of the track. I tried to avoid the contact but I jumped over the kerb because he put me out of the track.
"So I know why he did that, because he was struggling that much. I think for him it was better to back off a little bit and don't drive that aggressive."
The stewards evidently saw matters somewhat differently.
Meanwhile, as part of a series of later rulings, Michael Schumacher's third place finish was confirmed after he escaped punishment for activating his DRS wing in a yellow flag zone late in the race.
Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi were not so fortunate, however, after they were adjudged to have been the guilty parties in separate collisions and given ten and five-place grid penalties for the British GP respectively.