Pastor Maldonado has cleared the air with Esteban Gutierrez in the wake of their crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday.

Maldonado's Lotus ran into the side of Gutierrez, sending the Mexican's Sauber into a somersault from which he escaped without injury.

Maldonado, from the Enstone-based team, was handed a ten-second stop-go penalty, and on further review by the stewards will also now drop five places on the grid for next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Under the new regulations in which drivers collect penalty points – a total of 12 in a 12-month period from the date of the first offence will mean a one-race ban – Maldonado collected three points.

Venezuelan Maldonado, renowned for his incident-prone record, has confirmed chatting with Gutierrez about the shunt in Bahrain.

“We have been in touch,” said Maldonado. “It was a misunderstanding from both sides. He was out of line in the entry of the corner, and I was completely committed to the corner.

“He said he didn’t see me, and I didn’t expect him to turn in.”