SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) Medical tests have shown Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez escaped without injuries after his frightening accident in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, when his car flipped over in a collision.
The Mexican’s car was hit by the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado at the first corner after the Venezuelan came out of the pits. The car flipped over completely before pivoting and landing back on its wheels.
Gutierrez radioed back to his team: ”Whoa! What was that?” He then sat in his car for some time before walking away, and was taken to a local hospital for exams.
”The most important thing is that I am OK. They did all the checks at the hospital and everything is fine,” Gutierrez said. ”I was completely surprised that Pastor, who came out of the pits, ran into me. I was clearly in front of him. I turned into the corner and I was suddenly hit and I rolled over. There was nothing much I could do.”
Maldonado was immediately given a stop-go penalty for causing the collision, and after the stewards stiffened the sanction after the race by ruling he will be demoted five grid spots for the next race in China.
The Lotus driver claimed he could not have avoided the contact.
”We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one – maybe he missed his braking point, I don’t know,” Maldonado said. ”By then I was in the corner with nowhere to go.”