Adrian Sutil described Pastor Maldonado’s driving as dangerous after a United States Grand Prix collision that the German branded “shocking.”
The Force India and Williams came together on Austin’s back straight on the first lap, sending Sutil into the barriers.
Asked to explain the incident, Sutil replied: “On a very big straight, with a lot of space left and right, for some reason I got a hit on the left tire in the middle of the straight and lost the car.
“It was very shocking. You’d never believe something like that, but it happened. There was no reason to be so close. I was on my line and I didn’t do anything different. I was staying straight with my steering wheel and to the left and right there was a lot of space. I don’t understand why someone then hits you.
“There’s like an emergency area around him, you have to give room for two cars, not just one.”
Sutil felt it was only luck that prevented the crash from being much worse.
“What happened today could have ended differently. It was around 300kph, touching on the rear tire,” he said.
“I could’ve rolled. There were still five or six behind. We want to get out of these cars alive. You need to think a little bit sometimes.”
Maldonado played down the incident, but put it down to Sutil’s movement on the straight.
“It was quite strange,” said the Venezuelan. “I didn’t expect that contact from Sutil. We were side by side and I was losing a little bit on the straight because he was moving past. He either didn’t see me or was thinking he was already fully ahead. My front wing was there and we touched.
“I have nothing against him and it is very difficult to see when the cars are side by side. Sometimes it’s happened to me in the past as well, it’s nothing really important.”
Sutil said Maldonado was always a difficult driver to race against.
“Whenever you get close to him, he brakes 50 meters later than everyone else and he’s sometimes over the limit,” said the German. “It’s more dangerous to drive against certain drivers. Of course many drivers have had incidents with him.
“I think for him to back off sometimes a little bit would be quite good. It gets to a stage where it could be dangerous.”
Sutil did not believe talking to Maldonado would be worthwhile.
“I don’t see a big point in talking,” he said. “I’ve tried it several times, but he’s on a different planet. In the incident at Spa, he went straight into Paul [di Resta] and said it was our fault! For me, it’s done and over.”