Pastor Maldonado was forced to retire from last weekends Belgian Grand Prix due to riding the kerbs excessively at Raidillon. Lotus confirmed that Maldonado triggered his own retirement when he when across the white kerbs at the top of Eau Rouge, causing a 17G impact with the road which caused his Lotus E23 to lose power.
“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,” said technical director Nick 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.”
He added even though they were able to reset Maldonado’s car when it came back into the pits, the extent of the damage forced the team to retire the car.
Teammate Romain Grosjean was able to secure third place after Sebastien Vettel’s tyre blew out on the penultimate lap, giving the team their first podium since the 2013 US Grand Prix. “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,” concluded Chester.