Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado says they will need to assess what happened after he sent Esteban Gutierrez crashing out of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Maldonado, from the Enstone-based team, was handed a five-place grid penalty for the next round in China.

He ran into the side of the Sauber after rejoining the track from the pit lane, causing the Mexican’s car to flip over.

Gutierrez escaped injury, while Maldonado steered his car to 14th.

Teammate Romain Gros-jean was 11th.

The race was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

“Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one,” said Maldonado.

“Maybe he missed his braking point, I don’t know – and I had nowhere to go.

“It’s difficult to understand. I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres.

“I think he was very unlucky and it’s good he jumped straight out of the car.”

Kamui Kobayashi from the Leafield-based Cater-ham team was 15th, though teammate Marcus Ericsson retired early with engine trouble.