Monaco Grand Prix: Maldonado handed 10-place grid penalty

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Monaco

Williams driver Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 10-place grid penalty at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Venezuelan, who won the last race in Spain, was given the punishment for driving his car at Sergio Perez's Sauber during final practice.

Maldonado appeared to deliberately veer towards the Mexican at the Portier corner and the two cars banged wheels.

He then crashed at Casino Square on his next lap, damaging the front of the car.

The Venezuelan will start 24th after taking a further five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard, the winner of 13 grands prix, said he thought Maldonado was "lucky to get away with just a 10-place grid penalty".

Coulthard said it was "unacceptable to use your car as a weapon".

Radio 5 live's F1 analyst Jaime Alguersuari added: "It was unnecessary for Maldonaldo to do it, these things shouldn't happen. I know Monaco is a tough track and everyone wants to get lap times but it was unnecessary. Sergio Perez did a good job to avoid him but it should never have happened."

Maldonado has been in trouble with race stewards for similar incidents before.

At last year's Belgian Grand Prix he was given a five-place grid penalty for a collision with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in a similar incident.

Hamilton was given a reprimand for his role in provoking the incident.

It is not clear what Perez might have done that led Maldonado to behave in such a manner, but the incident happened when drivers were jostling for position and trying to do flying laps in the final minutes of the practice session.