Japanese GP: Williams's Bottas angry over Maldonado pass

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Japanese Grand Prix highlights

Valtteri Bottas accused his Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado of unfair driving in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Maldonado passed Bottas for 16th place on the last lap at Suzuka and the Finn ended up off the track to avoid the Venezuelan.

Bottas said: "There was no space on the track. It was not fair. If I hadn't gone straight on we'd have crashed. Racing shouldn't be like that."

Maldonado argued that the move "was close but quite clean".

Williams duo fight at final corner

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams refused to apportion blame but said the team would review the incident with the drivers.

The race stewards felt it was a racing incident, that Maldonado won the corner fairly and that Bottas could have backed off at any point but chose to keep fighting.

Maldonado also criticised his team's performance, saying: "I got the position. I was faster than him but the strategy on my car was completely wrong. We got 100% from the car.

"It's not making any big difference but when you are a racer you always want to take a position from the others."

Maldonado was on exactly the same two-stop strategy as Bottas - and made his first and second pit stops a lap later both times.

His criticism of the team heightened speculation about his future at Williams.

BBC chief F1 analyst Eddie Jordan said he did not believe Maldonado would be at Williams next year and that Claire Williams had been in Venezuela negotiating with the national oil company, PDVSA, which sponsors the team and is responsible for Maldonado's position there.

PDVSA, which pays Williams a reputed £30m a year, has a further two years remaining on its contract with the team but Maldonado has been trying to get out of Williams all season.

He has been linked with a move to Lotus, Force India or Sauber.

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