Lotus co-owner Gerard Lopez admits he may need to sit down with Pastor Maldonado and tell him to push a little less, following a spate of incidents.
The Venezuelan is no stranger to incidents and was of the most penalised drivers last year.
His start to 2014 hasn’t been much better. He was handed a ten-second stop-go penalty in Bahrain for making contact with Esteban Gutierrez, three penalty points and a grid drop in China, then this weekend he crashed during qualifying and made contact with Marcus Ericsson on the opening lap of the race. The stewards handed him a five-second stop-go for that and another penalty point.
Maldonado’s team-mate Romain Grosjean was in a similar situation in 2012 and was even handed a race ban, but he has since matured and went on to qualify fifth in Spain and secure the teams first points.
“Romain has matured a lot,” Lopez said of the Frenchman. “He now feels comfortable in his shoes and that helps on the track and we know that he can do the job.”
However, the Lotus chairman questioned Maldonado’s approach and, although admitting the former-Williams driver is “unbelievably fast”, suggested he needs to push a little less.
“Pastor we’ve known for a long time from GP2, as he’s been running with DAMS who are a team very close to us,” Lopez told the official F1 website.
“He is unbelievably fast – every lap for him is something of a qualifying lap. Maybe he’s doing a bit too much and we need to sit down with him and work that out – tell him that in his case – with the speed that he has – most of the time 95 per cent would be enough.
“But he’s a nice guy and very accepted by the team.”