Final day Maldonado crash caused by ‘systems issue’


Despite ending day four of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya at the bottom of the timing screens and in the turn four barriers, Pastor Maldonado was in a positive frame of mind as the Lotus F1 Team driver now turns his attention to preparing for the opening race of the season in Australia.

A problem with the brakes caused by a systems issue caused the Venezuelan to crash out during the afternoon session, restricting him to just 36 laps, and was unable to return to the circuit after significant damage to the front wing and suspension.

“It was a shame to end the day early, but that was the only issue we’ve had like this during testing so we can look to the positive that we have a lot of information to take the car in the right direction,” insisted Maldonado.

“My braking was compromised coming into turn four, meaning I went off the track and hit the barriers. I was able to brake and slow, just not as much as the maximum otherwise possible. The car was not too badly damaged and I am fine, but it’s a shame we had this issue as we would have been looking at running the softer tyres in the afternoon and putting in some fast laps.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Melbourne as I think we have good potential this season.”

Lotus F1 Team Technical Director Nick Chester was disappointed to see the team’s testing season end in the barriers, and revealed that the team will be investigate why the issue with the brakes occurred ahead of the flight to Australia at the end of the week.

“Certainly ending the final pre-season test in the barriers was not part of our game plan, but overall we’ve had a productive two weeks here in Barcelona following on from our initial outing in Jerez,” said Chester.

“Pastor was unfortunate to have a braking-related issue which meant he wasn’t able to slow sufficiently into turn four and the car was damaged. There was nothing Pastor or any driver could have done to avoid this accident which was systems related and we’re investigating thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“We now have a quick turn-around to get the car back to Enstone, then shipped out to Australia at the end of the week. It was a pity we weren’t able to run any low fuel laps later in the day.

“We are looking forward to Melbourne where we will get a full picture of the relative pace of the E23.”