Pastor Maldonado climbs out of the cockpit after his accident Friday morning. (Photo: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic)

climbs out of the cockpit after his accident Friday morning. (Photo: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic)

Pastor Maldonado’s accident-prone season continued in China today when the driver crashed in the pit entry road.

Maldonado repeated a mistake seen in the past when he ran wide at the tight left-hander and understeered off the road into the tire wall. Earlier he had an off-track moment when he appeared to be distracted while making an adjustment on the steering wheel.

“The incident this afternoon was a mistake from my side,” he said. “I was a little optimistic on the entry to the pits, and the run off is quite short, but that’s how it is. It’s a tricky part of the track and we’ve seen incidents there before. Now we need to look forward – we had a good FP1 and we managed to test a few things in FP2 which means we have good data.”

On the plus side for Lotus, Romain Grosjean finished the day inside the top 10.

“I would say that today was our most successful day this season,” said Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane. “There is still plenty of room for improvement but there is no doubt that we are heading into the right direction. Pastor had a little mishap this afternoon when he overshot the pit entry and went into the wall.

“He isn’t yet as comfortable in the car as Romain as he has still to get the set-up to his liking, but we can see pretty clearly on the data where there’s scope for improvement and this is something we can work on overnight. The car isn’t too damaged and we’re looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.”

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