Pastor Maldonado attracted both praise and scorn from high places after his performance at the 2012 season opener in Melbourne last weekend.
As far as Lotus team boss Eric Boullier is concerned, the Williams driver cost Romain Grosjean a place on the podium after their clash during the season opening grand prix. Asked when the promising black and gold E20 will make its first drive to the rostrum in 2012, Frenchman Boullier told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper: “When Maldonado doesn’t crash into us.”
Venezuelan Maldonado, often criticised for being Williams’ lead pay-driver, had another crash at Albert Park – on the very last lap – which ended his stirring push for a solid fifth place.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who initially admitted to being relieved when Maldonado was no longer hounding him in his mirrors, also said he felt sorry for the 27-year-old.
“He was much faster than me and in the end I might have had problems to defend my position,” he told AS newspaper. “I think he did a good drive and I felt some sadness when I saw that he had gone from my mirrors because he was about to earn the fifth, sixth, whatever.”