I have to give Pastor Maldonado’s detour through the gravel trap some credit here: the Lotus Formula One driver holds it together and keeps it out of the wall.

Crash counter: unchanged.

Perhaps the Venezuelan is missing out on his one true calling: rally.

So far in Bahrain, Maldonado isn’t the only one who’s been caught with all four wheels over the outside lines of the track. Because Bahrain has such ample, flat runoff outside most of its turns, many drivers seem fine with tracking out a bit farther on some turns.

The stewards are supposedly going to be keeping a close eye on any car that puts all four wheels outside the track surface because so many people are doing it this weekend. If they weren’t going so fast in open-cockpit race cars, I’d be inclined to suggest taking a hint from autocross and setting up some cones to hit. +2 seconds per cone, bro, and going around on the outside is an automatic DNF. That’s a surefire way to encourage people to stay on course: time penalties. (Never mind that I don’t see much of an inherent advantage to lengthening the course, or worse: taking a detour through a gravel trap.)

[H/T Axis of Oversteer]

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Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.