Maldonado faces exclusion for Hamilton incidentUPDATE #2 Pastor Maldonado has been slapped with a five-grid slot penalty for his incident with Lewis Hamilton at the end of Q2 at Spa.
The duo first came across each other in the final minutes of Q2 as Hamilton overtook the Williams driver in a bid to gain track position and put in another vital lap.
However, when both were on their in-laps after the checkered flag was waved at the end of Q2, the duo clashed as Maldonado appeared to move in on Hamilton, side-swiping the McLaren driver.
The incident left Hamilton with a damaged front wing, which had to be changed ahead of Q1. He went on to qualify in second place for Sunday's Belgian GP. Maldonado was P16.
And although Hamilton reckoned the Venezuelan had "deliberately" hit him, the latter was adamant it was not intentional.
However, the stewards believed Maldonado deserved more of the blame for the incident and have penalized him just five places on Sunday's grid.
Hamilton, though, did not escape entirely as he was given a reprimand.
08/27/11 Watch as Lewis Hamilton, known for his dirty driving, makes the first move to push Maldonado out. It should be Hamilton that gets excluded from the race.
08/27/11 (GMM) Pastor Maldonado could be thrown out of the Belgian grand prix for an incident during qualifying at wet Spa-Francorchamps.
After the Williams driver collided lightly with Lewis Hamilton as the McLaren passed him at the end of Q2, Venezuelan rookie Maldonado crashed into his British rival as they then climbed the hill to Eau Rouge. zzzz
"There should never be an incident after the red lights but unfortunately there was," said Hamilton.
The 2008 world champion, who managed to qualify second between the Red Bulls after makeshift repairs, said on the radio that the move was "done deliberately".
Asked if he agrees, Maldonado later said: "No, no I don't. We need to understand what happened."
Hamilton said: "I don't know whether it was intentional or not. I'm just going to wait around here for the stewards to call me up rather than going back to the team."
The British commentary team was convinced; David Coulthard insisting Maldonado "cannot do that on the race track" and Martin Brundle imploring the stewards to "send Maldonado home".
Radio commentator Anthony Davidson was not as strident, admitting he is "not convinced only one car made a change of direction".
The Daily Mirror correspondent Byron Young said: "The only question is will he (Maldonado) have the book thrown at him or a whole library".
Kevin Eason, who writes for The Times, added on Twitter: "We wait now to see whether Maldonado will be clapped in irons and sent into exile, the great daft lump".
Williams' Adam Parr declined to comment, while McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh described the incident as "fairly extraordinary".
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