After a career of crashing into barriers and other cars, for once he was the innocent victim...and in his last race to boot
Pastor Maldonado: accident-prone meme-on-wheels, capable of finding new and intriguing ways of crashing or picking up penalties on an almost race-by-race basis. Fernando Alonso: double world champion, one of the all-time greats, and an absolute master when it comes to judging traffic at the start of a grand prix.
When the two of them were seen spinning out at the first corner of Abu Dhabi in 2015, the conclusions jump to themselves.
But it wasn’t Pastor’s fault at all. He was minding his own business whilst Alonso made a right mess of things, squeezing across into Felipe Nasr’s Sauber before locking up and spearing into the Lotus.
Alonso was given a penalty for his rare bit of brain fade, but it didn’t make Maldonado’s day any better - he was out.
At the time we didn’t know it was his final race. He had a deal to continue with Renault in 2016, only to be replaced by Kevin Magnussen at the last minute. But looking back, the Abu Dhabi crash was a pretty ironic way for his career to have come to an end.
Unless he makes a comeback, anyway…