May 22 2014

Sponsors pay to lift Maldonado's lifetime Monaco ban!

RMA Track Days talks about Pastor Maldonado's lifetime Monaco ban…

Pastor Maldonado is a driver never too far from controversy over his driving – be it slamming Lewis Hamilton into barriers at Spa, crashing into the pit lane barrier in China, spinning his car into a wall in Catalunya or sending Esteban Gutierrez into a sideways double flip in Bahrain. Indeed, the unpredictable Venezuelan has certainly left a trail of debris across the world, including at the prestigious Monte Carlo circuit, where he famously shoved Sergio Perez into the barriers during FP3 in 2012 – causing damage to the Sauber which saw him crashing hard during the same day’s Qualifying session and being sent to the local hospital. Maldonado himself crashed mere seconds after he drove into Perez, when his car hit the barriers at the Casino corner.

Maldonado’s track record does not stop there and as Formula One returns to the principality this weekend, he is lucky to be allowed to race. What many do not know is that Maldonado was once banned for life from racing in the tight, windy streets of Monaco.

Lets go back to 2005 when a 21-year-old Maldonado was racing in the World Series by Renault. During the race, a crash prompted yellow flags and marshals took to the track – but Maldonado failed to obey the yellow flags and slow down, before he turned a corner, coming upon the wreck and striking a marshal. The marshal was seriously injured, but luckily survived the moronic incident.

So how is he now allowed to race, you may be asking. Well, after the Grand Prix organisers took the obvious step and banned Maldonado for life, his financial supporters stepped in, offering to pay for the marshals recovery and persuading the organisers to lift Maldonado’s ban.

This left Maldonado free to race in Monaco, although in each of the three years that he has raced there – 2011, 2012 and 2013 – he has crashed. This serves as an ominous warning for this weekend as he has crashed six times in the last three Grand Prix.

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