Formula One: Maldonado punished three places for blocking

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was on Saturday found guilty of blocking German rival Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix and relegated from third on the grid to sixth.

The Williams driver baulked German Hulkenberg of Force India during the Q1 session in qualifying.

The stewards decision lifted Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus up to third behind pole sitting Briton Jenson Button of McLaren and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber.

Maldonado had earlier declared his qualifying result a sign that Williams would enjoy a stronger showing in the second half of the 2012 season.

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