Lotus F1 team won't blame drivers for clash in Spanish Grand Prix

The Lotus Formula 1 team accepted that neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado should be blamed for their collision early in the Spanish Grand Prix

Lotus F1 team won't blame drivers for clash in Spanish Grand Prix

A clash of wheels between the pair at Turn 3 resulted in Maldonado's rear wing starting to fall apart, which later led to his retirement.

The team's trackside operations director Alan Permane admitted the race was "a little bit messy" but he declined to apportion blame.

"Obviously having your drivers touch is not ideal and I can't say it was one or the other's fault, honestly," he said.

"We've been through it all and had a look at the video. Everyone has got a slightly different opinion of it.

"I've said, 'let's not let it happen again' as it could have been avoided I think, so that's never nice."

The damage to Maldonado's car developed over the laps following the clash.

Lotus removed a section of the wing in an additional pitstop and later chose to retire the car.

"The FIA came on the radio and said they weren't happy with the bit flapping around and I can understand that," Permane explained.

"If that had come off it could have really hurt somebody - so we pulled that off.

"But then after the second pitstop there didn't seem a lot of point in continuing really."

Grosjean finished eighth despite overshooting his pitbox at his second stop and hitting some of his pit crew. No one was seriously hurt.

"Romain didn't have the cleanest of races - hitting the pit crew is never nice - going off at Turn 1 was a little bit unfortunate as well, which led to that [Maldonado] incident," Permane said.

"He unfortunately lost fourth gear quite early on and that hampered his race quite severely so he was having to shift straight from third to fifth from about lap 20.

"It feels a bit of a hollow one honestly. Qualifying 11th and 12th we were hoping to get up and beat a Red Bull.

"I said, 'if we can beat and a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso and get a couple of points that would be great'.

"We did more than that, we beat three out of the four cars but, again, we should have had two cars up there.

"It's a bit of a shame, we need to do a better job."

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