FEBRUARY 19, 2016
F1 may miss crash-king Maldonado says Salo
Mika Salo is not among those who are celebrating the departure from F1 of the sport's 'crash king' Pastor Maldonado.
Many believe the oil sponsor-fuelled Venezuelan and his penchant for crashing was bad for formula one, but Salo thinks Maldonado was actually a character to follow.
Asked if he will be missed, the former Ferrari driver told Finnish broadcaster MTV: "It's hard to say.
"Maldonado was a character from the moment he entered F1. Ok, some of his crashes were completely incomprehensible, but I think the series needs someone like that in a way.
"Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt, but crashes are good entertainment for the fans. And the sport is entertainment at the end of the day," he added.
"At some times," Salo said, "Maldonado was a bit dangerous, but he seemed to be calming down as time went on as well."
But that does not mean Salo begrudges the return to F1 of Maldonado's successor Kevin Magnussen, who will race alongside Jolyon Palmer at Renault.
"Magnussen is younger but his rookie season was not accident-free; he made lots of mistakes. But I believe in the long-term he is a much better choice than Maldonado," the 49-year-old Finn added.