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Maldonado accused of being danger to F1 rivals

- Associated Press - Sunday, July 8, 2012

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND (AP) - Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was fined and accused of being "very dangerous" for Formula One after ending a rival's race for a second successive grand prix on Sunday.

The Venezuelan was hit with a $12,300 fine and reprimanded by stewards at the British Grand Prix after a collision with Sergio Perez put the Sauber driver out of the race at Silverstone.

Two weeks ago, Maldonado received a 20-second penalty at the European Grand Prix, knocking him out of the points, after crashing into Lewis Hamilton and sending the McLaren star into a wall.

The twin incidents have removed the gloss from Maldonado's first-ever win, at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, with Perez demanding tougher action against him.

"He is a very stupid driver. He ran Hamilton out of the race in Valencia," Perez said. "I don't know why the stewards don't take more action against him. He deserves a big penalty.

"We are risking our lives out there and if they don't do something he will hurt someone. For all the drivers he is very dangerous driver on the circuit."

In a previous dustup with Perez, Maldonado cut in front of the Mexican driver during qualifying for the Monaco GP in May and incurred a 10-place grid penalty.

Perez was forced to retire Sunday after being sent spinning on lap 12.

"He didn't give me any room," Perez said. "He has no respect for other drivers. It's the way he is driving."

Maldonado defended his driving style, describing the collision as a "very disappointing moment."

"I was on the inside of the corner, so it was mine, Sergio was outside trying to take the position from me," Maldonado told the BBC. "I tried to defend and lost the rear of the car and we bumped tires. It was disappointing.

"It was an unlucky race for me and that is it. Sergio can say what he wants. We are racing, we are trying to do our best. I was trying to defend, he was trying to gain and this is racing."

Maldonado finished 17th.

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Rob Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/RobHarris

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