Pastor Maldonado says F1 crash criticism doesn't bother him

Pastor Maldonado says he is unmoved by criticisms against him for his numerous Formula 1 crashes this year, as he laughed off a spate of jokes on social media

Pastor Maldonado says F1 crash criticism doesn't bother him

The Venezuelan Lotus driver has yet to score a point in F1 this year, but has earned four driver penalty points after being involved in a number of incidents.

He famously tipped Esteban Gutierrez into a roll at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and has also had costly crashes in practice sessions in China and in qualifying in Spain.

But Maldonado sees negative comments and social media mockery as nothing to worry about.

"It's OK. I'm used to this, a lot of criticism, it's normal," he said. "It's normal when you come from South America, when you have a country pushing very hard on your back and they are used to always seeing you on top in the lower categories.

"But here in Formula 1 you are not competitive enough to fight for the championship because the cars are different... it's OK. We live in a free world so people can say whatever they want."

Asked for his reaction to images of crashed yachts that have been posted on Twitter in recent days as jokes about Maldonado, he said: "It's OK. It's funny."

Maldonado believes there are valid explanations for his frustrating start to the year.

"I think it's a combination of many things," he said. "Maybe trying too hard, but at the same time we were not 100 per cent with the car, so the car was not doing what I wanted.

"I had a really good day [testing] with the team [after Barcelona] because before we had to race with a car we didn't know very well.

"[We'd had] only a couple of laps, the engine was progressing a lot, so it was like a new car every time [I drove]. It was never easy.

"I made some mistakes, but the team have always accepted my mistakes and for sure we are looking forward to improving, delivering my best as always.

"Because I want to do very well, more than I can [with the car], I'm making some mistakes. It's quite busy in the car with all the switches and buttons, setting changes.

"Maybe it's affecting me a little bit but it's the same for everyone so I don't think it's the key."

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