Pastor Maldonado says his last lap crash at Melbourne was not a consequence of trying to harry Fernando Alonso and capture fifth.
The Venezuelan driver had been set for his best grand prix finish when, on his final tour of the circuit, he lost the rear on the exit of Turn 6 and crashed heavily into the barriers. Maldonado said it had been a simple racing incident, and denied that it came as a result of trying to close on Alonso and steal fifth.
"It was a very fast moment, but I just lost the back of the car and hit the wall – that's it," he said. "I had already accepted [finishing behind Alonso] because I tried to pass into Turn 3 and it didn't work. I think Alonso was slowing down, his pace was not so strong, so maybe I got too close to him and that's why I lost the back.
"It wasn't a concentration thing - I was concentrating and pushing as normal, looking after the tires and the settings. I was enjoying the fight, but maybe I just got too close. I said nothing on the radio, I was so angry. We are a bit disappointed, but that's racing."
Maldonado also shrugged off his earlier clash with Romain Grosjean on lap two, which sent the Frenchman to an early retirement.
"With Grosjean, I just tried to overtake him, did it and he went wide," Maldonado declared. "It was a clean one. There was very little contact – very little, not enough to put him out."