Verstappen: Grosjean’s early braking caused crash

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his spectacular Monaco Grand Prix crash was caused by Romain Grosjean braking earlier than he expected.

The Toro Rosso driver hit the back of Grosjean’s car while trying to overtaking him. Verstappen was uninjured in the crash, which tore a wheel off his car and caused a heavy impact with the barrier at Sainte Devote.

However he said he was not making an attempt to pass Grosjean at the time of the accident.

“It wasn’t really a move in my vision because the lap before I braked already on the same spot as where I crashed, but you could see when I crashed the car in front of me just really braked earlier,” Verstappen said to reporters after the race.

“If you are going that speed and you are quite close to each other you can’t do anything, you don’t expect them to brake there. I tried to avoid it, really caught me by surprise.”

Verstappen was attempting to get back into the points having been delayed by a problem at a pit stop earlier in the race.

“On the super-soft we had great pace,” he said. “We had to overtake [Pastor] Maldonado and I lost some seconds to [Sergio] Perez but I closed that up and even compared to the guys in front I was showing great pace.”

“Then we had a little fuss in the pit stops, I lost 20 seconds there. And then it’s very hard at Monaco to get that back. So we pitted again for another super-soft set and from there on was just flying.

“I [caught] up with Sebastian [Vettel] and Nico [Rosberg] in front of me and I just decided to stay behind them because they were catching up to cars in front so I also had a chance to overtake them a bit easier.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    71 comments on “Verstappen: Grosjean’s early braking caused crash”

    1. I bet that Lewis would like to punch you straight in your face

      1. geoff groom
        24th May 2015, 16:43

        I don’t see why. It was Mercedes call that cost Lewis, not Max’s accident.

        1. Without that stupid move Lewis would have finished with 15 seconds advantage with Rosberg second and Merc did not have to bother making any calls
          By the way I am not Lewis fan but I feel sorry for him
          17 year old guy should not be driving in F1.

          1. You say you’re not a Lewis fan, yet you’re finding every excuse possible to blame anyone other than Lewis and Mercedes. So forgive me if I find your claim hard to believe.

            1. I have a point here
              17 years old guy should not be in F1.
              If he was mature enough he would have at least apologized for ruining the race for Grosjean and Hamilton, instead he is putting the blame on Grosjean:

            2. @malik

              I have seen many older drivers making the same ‘error’: Perez, Maldonado and Grosjean himself.

              IMO, it is not a rookie mistake, just a normal mistake (he didn’t crashed because he is immature, he crashed because he was caught out by Grosjean’s braking point)

            3. Lewis Hamilton made that same mistake, crashing into Maldonado at the very same corner in 2011. Verstappen is proving he more than has the ability to drive at this level. His age is irrelevant. It was just a mistake, it was his fault but to be fair Grosjean did brake earlier than normal.

          2. Maldonado is almost twice his age and he makes more gross and frecuent mistakes than Max. Yes, he’s 17, but i don’t think that his age has anything to do with today’s accident; even if he was in his mid-late twenties, with his experience you may expect this kind of situations. Take a look at Romain Grosjean too! he was way older, way more experienced and even so, he made the same foolish mistakes!

    2. Newbie mistake.

      1. From Grosjean. It was obvious he braked unusually soon.

        1. Do you seriously think that Grosjean is so stupid and that he doesn’t know another car is a meter from his exhaust? And he decides to brake early, knowing it’s going to be a crash? Seriously? You have no idea of racing my friend. When you are chased that close and it’s for position, the last thing you want to do is break early. A ban for this is the most ridiculous comment I have read in years. He MAY HAVE to break earlier due to braking issues and that would never be his fault

          1. Mark (@marlarkey)
            24th May 2015, 17:18

            It is clear on the footage that GRO slowed early – I don’t say he did it deliberately or because he’s a bad driver or anything… just that he did.

          2. Me “knowing nothing of racing”doesn’t change the facts: Grosjean braked sooner than usual and did it while weaving first right, then left. And yes, I think Grosjean is capable of doing this to intimidate the driver behind him. It’s not like the guy has a clean record.

            He might have has a brake problem, after all, Maldonado did too. But that doesn’t excuse his weaving on the braking zone.

            I never called for a ban, by the way. I just see too much “Verstappen is 17 so of course he is to blame”.

            1. Alan Permane @AlanPermane
              .@RGrosjean didn’t brake test @Max33Verstappen, he braked 5m later than previous lap. Data accepted by FIA so the penalty was for Max not RG
              3:09 PM – 27 May 2015

              All clear?

        2. Trenthamfolk (@)
          24th May 2015, 17:33

          Grosjean isn’t a newbie anymore… besides, if you run into the back of someone it’s your fault… rookie mistake…

          1. Jacob (@dutchdriver)
            25th May 2015, 10:30

            I don’t think this was a mistake exclusively for rookies. Remember similar incidents with Schumacher, Coultard, Senna, Prost, Webber and more and moreover none of those in their rookie periods. VES just fell for one of the oldest (defensive) racing tricks exercised by a slower driver who was about to loose the last available point .

        3. I read actually that Grosjean braked later if anything. But I don’t think it was Grosjean’s fault anyway. It looked like an understandable but none the less dangerous rookie mistake by Verstappen.
          Otoh, Max looks like a humble guy etc, but then I heard him blaming others for similar things before, or getting punished for aggressive drives in other series’ and still blaming the stewards for those decisions. I hope it’s not a chronic issue with him.

    3. I thought he braked early aswell. And he moved slightly to the right then to the left again. It was weird seeing Grosjean’s moves from Max’s car.

      1. The lines on the road makes it look that way, however if you look at the camera angle from the front, you can see he brakes in a straight line.

        1. Mark (@marlarkey)
          24th May 2015, 17:30

          He brakes in a straight line but earlier than previous laps – he is really going slow into that corner.

    4. In real time it did look to me like Grosjean braked early, leaving Max very little room.

    5. ah the lotus drivers…

    6. exactly the same thing happened to grosjean in 2013, when he crashed into the back of ricciardo. it was just after the tunnel, but ricciardo was braking early and the car behind crashed into him. i think grosjean got a 10 place gris penalty for it, wondering if verstappen will get one, too. probably not, because the stewards gave grosjean such a penalty because he’s grosjean.

      1. Yep, very similar to that 2013 crash.

        If anything, this doesn’t prove Verstappen is immature, only that F1 has outgrown Monaco.

    7. Grosjean braked several car lengths early. Watch the video compared to other cars going through there, or even Grosjean’s own laps prior. The stewards need to look at Grosjean’s telemetry, and if they are fair, they will not unduly penalize Max. Not a rookie mistake by Max whose situational awareness is phenomenal. Rookie mistake from a guy who has the experience to know better: Grosjean. I understand that it’s hard to feel like a sitting duck around Monaco when the car behind you has better tires and is so much quicker, but in that situation you have to be smart and realize, there is only going to be so much you can do to defend. There were too many laps left to keep Max behind for long given how quick he was. Braking that early was like trying to sucker punch young Max.

      1. El Salvador
        24th May 2015, 16:49

        Amen to that….i completely agree with you.

        Grosjean mad the mistake…and in my view its so unmature to point the finger to Max Verstappen and shouting he is stupid.

        Max was 1,5 second per lap quicker…there was no way that Grosjean could have stopped Max

        I hope the FIA will take a long and hard look at the telemetry of Grosjean and give him a lengthy ban

        1. Do you seriously think that Grosjean is so stupid and that he doesn’t know another car is a meter from his exhaust? And he decides to brake early, knowing it’s going to be a crash? Seriously? You have no idea of racing my friend. When you are chased that close and it’s for position, the last thing you want to do is break early. A ban for this is the most ridiculous comment I have read in years. He MAY HAVE to break earlier due to braking issues and that would never be his fault

          1. Mark (@marlarkey)
            24th May 2015, 17:32

            If it was due to mechanical issues then it would be a racing incident and neither of the drivers’ fault. But all would be clear on the telemetry whether he slowed early or not – but imo he visibly did slow earlier than on previous laps.

            1. Lars Osterlind, Jose Abed, Christian Calmes and Tom Kristensen are definitely more competent to make a good judgment than all of us here.
              For your information: “Grosjean braked slightly later on that lap!” – according to telemetry.
              However, your eye might be sharper than telemetry, my apology if that’s the case.

          2. @nuvolari71 drivers weave and brake-check each other all the time, it is a time-honored defensive tactic. Has nothing to do with stupidity, it has to do with trying to throw off the timing of the driver behind you. On a track where the straights are so short, the coordination between popping out from behind and going to the brakes and then throttle has to be lightning quick to get beside and then power out of the corner ahead to make the move work. The driver behind is trying to figure out where you brake so as to time his own move. If you can throw him off by braking early, you can make him think twice about the move, or throw off the timing of his inputs so that he can’t get alongside. It’s a defensive tactic. But it can bite you if you do it too abruptly so the guy behind cannot react in time. As happened this time.

            1. alonso was penalized for brake test against coulthard and hamilton aswell. So no, it’s not an “time honored defensive tactic” it’s cheating.

            2. Trust me mate, noone does it at 300 km/h. I have humbly raced enough to tell you that nobody thinks of doing it at high speed. You can lift off at the apex to put him off for a short while but you don’t brake 10 meters earlier when flat out when someone is in your slipstream. It’s suicide. At least not on purpose

          3. I already seen you make this remark. You seem te forgot the alonso brake tests in the past or villeneuve schumacher.. racing is far from fair play and grosjean is one of the worst regarding intellegent driving.

            1. Alan Permane @AlanPermane
              .@RGrosjean didn’t brake test @Max33Verstappen, he braked 5m later than previous lap. Data accepted by FIA so the penalty was for Max not RG
              3:09 PM – 27 May 2015

              All clear now?

      2. Mark (@marlarkey)
        24th May 2015, 17:31


      3. Trenthamfolk (@)
        24th May 2015, 17:35

        Grosjean is entitled to slow down and drive as fast or as slowly as he likes…

        1. Mark (@marlarkey)
          24th May 2015, 19:25

          True… and VER is entitled to attempt to follow as closely as he likes…. therefore it is a racing incident…its just one of those things that sometimes happens when two people are pursuing their own racing.

    8. Verstappen got it wrong.

      Fresh tyres, DRS, slip stream, he misjudged his braking vs a car with old tyres and no DRS.

      Rookie error could have turned out worse, be greatful your ok and be sorry for causing a collison.

      1. ^^^this

      2. The thing is, grosjean braked on a different point then all the other laps. If you race and are faster, looking for a place to overtake, you are not going to hang back a couple of seconds. Maybe grosjean had a very good reason, but if you do breake early, i don’t see how verstappen could’ve known.

        1. Please stop making assumptions people. That corner looks visually weird with lines and such on road. Grosjean actually braked late if anything. He didn’t brake earlier!
          Verstappen should be able to see where he did wrong, accept it and move on. This is also a test of his maturity. Accepting and learning from mistakes is essential. Remember Hamilton and Vettel when they were rookies. Hamilton had made the weirdest mistakes and Vettel was both the crash kid and the wonder boy.

      3. He was behind the same car the lap before. Grosjean braked earlier.

        1. Mark (@marlarkey)
          24th May 2015, 17:35

          +1 he clearly slowed earlier, it is clearly visible in the video that he was 2-3 car lengths earlier – whether it was that he chose to brake earlier, or he had to brake earlier for whatever reason (mechanical, brake issues, tyres, etc), or GRO made a mistake…

          VER had nowhere to go, you could argue he should have been able alert to what GRO was doing and react…

          SO at best it was GRO’s fault… but most likely just a racing incident…

          1. Trenthamfolk (@)
            24th May 2015, 17:37

            GRO can brake whenever he wants… if you crash into the back of someone it’s your fault, which is why he got the penalty… why is this so difficult???

            1. “If you crash into the back of someone is your fault”

              This is obviously untrue. Your confusing traffic rules with F1 rules. Same with “grosjean can brake where he wants”, which isn’t even legal on the road, and certainly not in f1.

              I think the stewards got it wrong.

            2. Trenthamfolk (@)
              24th May 2015, 18:54

              tell me, then, why he got the penalty…

            3. Mark (@marlarkey)
              24th May 2015, 19:26

              This is racing…. at worst it is a racing incident that is nobody’s fault but rather just one of the inherent risks of closely fought racing.

        2. Let me put it another way:

          Could you envisage Alonso causing that kind of crash? If your answer is no, then you’ll understand why.

          Remember Webber having a similar collison with Kovalainen in Valencia? What was the cause there? A driver not taking into consideration that lack of braking power of the car infront.

          1. Let me put it another way:

            If Alonso would have crashed instead of Verstappen, everybody would call for a race ban for Grosjean.

            1. People can call for what they want, it dosn’t make it right.

    9. Mark (@marlarkey)
      24th May 2015, 17:37

      Everyone is too quick to jump to BLAME one driver or the other instead of just accepting that its racing, both are trying and things happen.

      Yes you can analyse the facts and therefore the causes but its racing and accidents happen when things are being closely fought.

    10. given all of verstepens passes this year and his amazing pace, i believe him about grosjean braking slightly early on that lap

      1. Yeah and chuck the telemetry out, clearly Verstappen would know better than both Grosjean and telemetry…

    11. It’s OK to brake early, even to lift before you do. But on a tight corner entry, at least leave room for the overtaking miracle boy wonder who’s lapping at Vettel’s pace and just deciding to stay behind rather than unlap himself.

      Where is ANY driver to go when it’s narrow and the car in front decided to brake 15m earlier while getting right in your face? right=crash, left=crash. GRO was too central to brake test any car.
      For Verstappen to be there on his exhaust, having such a famously weak engine, says a lot about his pace.
      Not exactly an image booster for Crashjean to take out the guy who has been making everyone look bad. It’s not a mature driver teachning the kid a lesson. It’s being needlessly dangerous at 270pkh into the most risky corner on the most tricky circuit. If GRO doesn’t want trouble, he leaves room and tries to finish the race.

      Certainly GRO didn’t intentionally crash, be he messed up anyway, and not only got lucky to finish the race, but very cocky to blame the youngster who was not even trying to overtake yet, by lack of space. Lack of space+ early braking = crash.
      If every F1 driver is to expect early braking, we may as well outlaw slipstreaming down the second half of a straightaway. Dangerous rookie move to sit in behind. Yeah, really.

    12. There goes Verstappen’s impressive maturity record. Until this, he had been pretty great about owning up to his mistakes – more so than I ever was at 17 – but this quote is right out of Maldonado’s mouth. Verstappen got impatient and was darting around like a fool, missed his brake point and hit Grosjean. It doesn’t get more straightforward than that.

      1. @bforth

        but this quote is right out of Maldonado’s mouth

        You can’t be serious. Maldonado blames barriers for his crashes. Even if Verstappen is lying about Grosjean braking earlier (which I don’t think he is or he would have gotten a 10 place grid penalty) it doesn’t come anywhere close to Maldonado and his excuses…

        1. He did get penalty on both grid and his license.

    13. I am glad that VES and GRO are ok. Kudos to VES to drive like a real racing driver. If the pit stop was not botched he would have finished 7th. He was catching Perez. Of course I am super biased.
      To see JPM win Indy made my day.

    14. Yes, Verstappen managed to stay very close behind Vettel and Rosberg safely, that’s because they are doing they own thing, they are not racing him.

      Grosjean braked earlier because he was not completely on the racing line, he was taking a tighter line to defend his inside, Verstappen just failed to see that. Hope he will pay better attention next time.

    15. ‘Next Senna’… Hahaha! I’d say next Maldonado who is never at fault and blames the people who he is crashing into. Of course all the teenagers on this website jumped into his defence but I guess that what F1 wanted by letting kids into the sport.

      1. Senna crashed into prost? Schumacher was trying to take out villenueve. So your point is?

      2. Teenagers commenting? I’m 56, it was a racing incident, without a doubt it was a misjudgement, but by whom, i’m not certain, due to conflicting views.
        Max has shown in his brief F1 career that he has spacial awareness, as good as most experienced drivers.
        St Devote has been traditionally the most expensive car park in the world, & personally, i’d much rather see someone try to overtake, than see the often maligned Monaco procession.

    16. Grosjean did brake early, just compare that lap to previous laps.

      A scary though… Verstappen and others could have been killed today. if his car caught a little bit of air underneath it could have gone over that barrier. I vaguely remember 3 or 4 marshals standing casually above the barrier.

      1. I am thinking about writing “Grosjean didn’t brake early” under all these comments. You are either making up things, or you misunderstood what you saw, or you are misinformed.

    17. Thinking about this incident again, it could have been a lot lot worse. If he had flipped Webber Valencia style or even Villeneuve/R.Schumacher (for which this incident was very reminiscent of), he would have launched right into Alonso’s stricken McLaren and the marshalls.

      Just seen the above comment also noting this. Scary indeed.

    18. Whats the fuss about. Just a racing incident.
      F1 is not your daily commute.

    19. Nobody in F1 has matched Verstappen’s overtaking skills this season. No-bo-dy. The kid is absolutely spectacular, and has shown moves that I have not seen in the 40 some years I’ve followed the sport. Grosjean is an average driver at best, and Verstappen is rare top quality, so they don’t think the same way. If Max isn’t pushing as he is, then he won’t have all those great overtaking moves, but would just be another boring driver in the F1-train. F1 got it wrong by punishing him, and the penalty should have gone to Grosjean instead. Anyway, Max will be in a top car in a couple of years, and will never run into Grosjean again.

      1. It is tragicomic that half of what you saw as marvelous overtaking maneuvers were actually Verstappen misjudging his braking and putting both the guy in front of him and himself in danger. He had to overtake some people that way, because it was either that or crash! Just like in Monaco. He wasn’t trying to overtake Grosjean there.
        Plus, how have you been following the sport I don’t know, but it is clear you have no idea about Grosjean…

    20. I don’t think Verstappen did himself any favours accusing Grosjean of brake testing without having any evidence other than his perception.

    21. Any chance we can be put out of our collective misery with published (telem’/brake/throttle) numbers to clear it once & for all ! It didn’t seem as if Grosjean braked, more initial coasting & tactical driving. He was on a defensive line, making a little more sense of such a move especially if his car was becoming lame. Had GRO braked i think VER would have been in his gearbox and not made it as far as his right back wheel.

    22. Verstappen mistake, just look how he steers to the right just before crashing, if there was time for him to turn the steering wheel there was time to step on the brake pedal, he thought there was room to overtake but there wasn’t.

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