MONZA, Italy, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Keeping out of the Formula One race stewards’ room will be a priority for Pastor Maldonado at Monza this weekend even if the Williams driver was not entirely clear on Thursday about how he intended to do that.
The Venezuelan has been called in to see the officials so many times this season that he might as well have his own desk and chair with them but the one-race ban imposed on Lotus driver Romain Grosjean at the Italian Grand Prix has given him food for thought.
Grosjean was suspended for causing a pile-up at the start in Belgium last weekend, with his car flying over the front of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and putting the championship leader out of the race.
The sanction also reflected the Frenchman’s record of having seven incidents in 12 races so far.
Maldonado has had 10 punishments imposed on him so far, including three at Spa that left him with a 10-place grid penalty for Monza, and the stewards’ patience could soon be running out.
“I have been penalised quite a lot at the moment, we need to try to do something different, to be away from the stewards,” he told reporters in the Williams motorhome.
”I am doing my best and this is the solution, to be away from them.
”Sometimes I have been involved in small incidents and I have been to the stewards again so I will try and be away from everything. But at the same time I will try to push and I will try to do my best for the team and myself.
“I must evaluate the situations, it is difficult now to say I will get this style or change that. I need to think more and evaluate more the situation in the car,” he added.
Maldonado is the effective Williams leader on the track, with Brazilian team mate Bruno Senna less experienced, and rewarded them with a win in Barcelona in May that ended the team’s eight-year drought.
He has also cost the former champions a good many points with needless penalties, including clashes in practice that have then forced unscheduled gearbox changes and ensuing five-place grid demotions.
Maldonado, who jumped the start at Spa and then retired after a later collision, said he was going through a ‘bad moment’ but would come through it and was fully supported by the team.
He recognised he was sometimes too aggressive but laughed off any ‘bad boy’ image.
”Sometimes yes, for sure. This is one of my characteristics and everybody knows that,“ he said of the aggression. ”Some people like it and some not. For sure I need to use that when we need to use it and not always.
“Not all the penalties are because of that...but now the solution is in my hands and I need to do the best and try to be away from the stewards. That’s the best solution I see.”
Monza is the fastest track on the calendar and Maldonado, despite starting way down the field as a result of his penalties, was confident he could make up ground in Sunday’s race.
“I think here it is possible, it’s one of the tracks where you can overtake,” he said. (Editing by Clare Fallon)