17G impact caused Maldonado Spa retirement

A 17G impact with the Eau Rouge kerbs caused damage to Pastor Maldonado’s clutch control system and thus ensured the Venezuelan retired from the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The Lotus F1 Team driver was forced to call it a day and watch team-mate Romain Grosjean secure the first podium finish for Lotus since the 2013 United States Grand Prix, with Technical Director Nick Chester believing the team could have had both cars inside the top five but for the incident at Eau Rouge.

“We are still checking all the parts but he had a big excursion at Eau Rouge and hit some curbs very hard which gave the chassis a 17G impact,” revealed Chester.

“That looks to have effectively knocked the power off the car and although he managed to get the power back on, it looks like we might have damaged the clutch control valve.

“Even though we may have been able to reset it when Pastor came back to the pits, we looked at the extent of the damage and decided to retire the car.

“Pastor’s pace was pretty good throughout the weekend, only a little bit off Romain as we saw in qualifying but certainly P4 or P5 were possible.”