Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2015

‘Of course I didn’t brake-test Verstappen’ – Grosjean

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2015Romain Grosjean has had his say in the row about his crash with Max Verstappen and denied claims he “brake-tested” the Toro Rosso driver.

Immediately after the race Verstappen claimed Grosjean had braked earlier than usual when he ran into the back of the Lotus driver at Sainte Devote.

Lotus’s trackside operations director Alan Permane dismissed the claims and Grosjean has also rejected the idea. “Of course not, what would that possibly achieve?” he said.

“In Monaco it’s pretty easy to keep a car behind you, even a car that’s faster than you, by placing your car on the racing line and just focusing on driving your laps. The difficult bit is for the guy trying to get past.”

“I didn’t brake early or lift off the throttle earlier on the lap which Verstappen hit me, in fact the data showed I braked five metres later than the lap before.”

The incident was investigated by the FIA, who handed Verstappen a five-place grid penalty for next week’s Canadian Grand Prix.

“The FIA are pretty thorough in their investigations,” said Grosjean, adding: “I don’t know which annoyed me more; being hit and knocked out of the points, or having to go through the inquiry afterwards for something that was clearly not my fault.”

“Ultimately, Max caught himself out by driving too aggressively on the wrong circuit to attempt a move like he did and we both felt the consequences. He’ll learn; he’s a very talented driver.”

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Keith Collantine
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44 comments on “‘Of course I didn’t brake-test Verstappen’ – Grosjean”

  1. I expected the parties to give it a rest, but clearly not.

    Sainz also had his moment during the race. Thankfully he was aboe to continue, albeit with a scratched nose.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVgXOxdA8v4
    and
    http://i.imgur.com/AEsMw2p.png

    1. Funny, that is exactly what happened to Raikkonen in 2008 when he took out Sutil, but only because he was closer at that time. Most other drivers would’ve gone straight in the wall like we’ve seen multiple times, good for Sainz.

    2. I think we saw him getting off track and we saw part of a wing on track, but they didn’t show the whole incident. I wonder what they were showing at the same time?

    3. It’s the bump, isn’t it?

    4. This would have given a nice crash.

    5. Ugh! That control! Reactions of a blue bottle fly, stunning.

  2. They should penalize Grosjean just for that poor excuse of a beard.

    1. Yes and the fact that he can’t admit he defended the line by jumping to the inside on the last second, honestly he didn’t have to let Max by even if neither was going to make the turn. Max hit Grosjean from behind and that makes it automatically Max’s fault, especially if you consider all the haters.

      1. I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not, but I went back and re-watched the footage and you couldn’t be more wrong. Grosjean didn’t swerve or suddenly change his line, especially not at the last second. He was defending the inside line well before the braking zone. Max swerved from the outside, went half way into the pit exit and ran into Grosjean. It’s plain as day.
        Video here

        1. +1 Obviously it’s hard to measure braking points just by looking at it. But you can clearly see he doesn’t change his line.

        2. RM followed the same exact trajectory in the previous lap. It’s possible to watch on youtube. But in the incident lap, Max was faster and closer, and couldn’t avoid impact.

          1. +1 As you are watching it’s pretty much impossible to make comparison between the braking points for 2 laps. You see the relative speed and you cannot make an analysis based on the buildings and such because there is not a big difference in any way. So watching 2 laps and saying there is a clear difference just discredits whoever is saying that. The obvious difference is MV is closer in second lap, nothing more really. But you can see Grosjean taking the same line.

  3. The link on those videos seems not to be working anymore. Anyway Lewis overtaking Schumi 2011 here

    If you compare these two, it is clear that Lewis makes his move a bit earlier. Judging by where the yellow line is.

    1. Did Lewis forget how to do it in Monaco now, couldn’t get past Vettel?? :(

      1. It’s bloody Monaco, what did you expect? The only overtakes in 2015 Monaco GP were either (a) Verstappen taking advantage of blue flags to sneak past, or (b) overtakes that involved cars making contact. Vettel obviously wasn’t being shown blue flags, and given that Hamilton is fighting for the championship it wouldn’t be worth doing a kamikazee move to gain 3 points when you are risking losing 15.

        If Hamilton had enough of a speed advantage to be close to side-by-side in the braking zones, then maybe you could say he wasn’t making overtakes stick. But because the Mercedes is actually slower than the Ferrari in a straight line, Hamilton had little chance of being close to Vettel in the braking zones (unless Vettel’s tyres were destroyed to the point where he had terrible traction, which wasn’t the case).

        Mansell couldn’t get past Senna when he was 2s+ a lap faster here. Truth is there is nothing Mansell could realistically do, you can’t overtake in Monaco if the other person is a similar speed on the straights and makes no mistakes.

  4. “He’ll learn;[…]”
    Well, as far as we know (FIA enquiry used the telemetry), it seems established that GRO braked 5m later. Hence VER just ignores the facts. And ignoring the facts does not seem to be a very efficient way of learning in my opinion…

    1. He swerved to the right (with two wheels on the pit-out lane) and then lifted off the gas. That’s why he was able to brake 5m later. But it doesn’t matter. It allowed to lift/break earlier than normal. There is no rule about that. But GRO did cause VES to make his mistake.

      1. It has been confirmed that Grosjean lifted 5m later and braked 5m later. He was also took the same line that he had been taking every lap before. The blame for the crash is on Verstappen. Racing drivers crash sometimes, give it a rest people.

        1. @DCComics: Agreed…
          @smudgersmith1: I think the quote is not meant against GRO, just something similar to a guy behind putting pressure and thereby ‘causing’ a mistake of the guy in front, if you see what I mean…
          The talks about the comparison of lines are funny also: maybe each driver should draw his line before the race starts and not be allowed of changing it for the whole race… :)

      2. …. But GRO did cause VES to make his mistake…..
        In which parallel universe does this theory have any semblance of sense !

      3. Grosjean was taking the same line with the previous lap. In the end it doesn’t matter even if he was taking a different line to the rest of people or himself 3-4 laps earlier, because Verstappen was comparing his last lap to the former lap, which have identical lines.

    2. Does that imply that Verstappen didn’t get to see Grosjean’s telemetry during the stewards’ investigation?

      1. I don’t know, but I would guess that the FIA’s desicion comes with some arguments supporting its conclusion. And definitely he must have seen that…

      1. I don’t see Grosjean doing anything different?

  5. Sorry for this random thought, but this is what I thought of when Max hit Romain.
    I miss the Williams BMW…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fIXiuEyiNU

    Brasil 2001, Montoya was leading when this happened. Jos can’t judge Max too harshly!

    More footage and race highlights
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aETKfgj3-GQ

    1. Ahah, excellent first link… Funny :)

      1. That was really not good for Montoya. That was painful to watch. Poor chap :(

    2. Great videos, both of them.

  6. @dbHenry thanks for those links… I really miss those V10 days!

  7. Telemetry no one of us will ever get to see…. I’d love to see for myself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7goXvwbvwlg

    Grosjean drives identical line in both laps, but in L63 he get’s off the throttle so much earlier. FIA as well as Lotus don’t lie if they say Grosjean braked 5m later…

    1. They said he also lifted off 5 m later.

    2. Probably the most clear cut evidence you’ll ever see. Alain Permaine is basically lying through his teeth. That’s an absolute disgrace in fact. Awful awful decision to penalise verstappen.

      1. How did you come to that conclusion watching that video I wonder?

        There is no obvious difference for Grosjean’s braking point in those 2 laps. Are you sure you are accounting for the fact that Verstappen was much closer in the second lap? Without a big difference in braking, it’s almost impossible to point out the difference just by looking at it. I think behaving like there is an obvious difference in those two laps just discredits your judgment. If there is anything you can deduce from that video, it’s that Grosjean didn’t change his line.

      2. The FIA have full telemetry from both cars for the entire race, as well as the testimonies of the drivers themselves, their race engineers, and the teams. But obviously they should ignore that wealth of evidence and judge solely based on one YouTube video.

      3. Grosjean was braking later in that video. The reason why it looks like Grosjean brakes earlier is because Max is braking considerably later so there is a greater closing speed. The stewards reviewed the evidence and agreed that Grosjean did nothing wrong. Why are people completely unable to accept that Max made a mistake?

        He is a rookie who is only in his second year of single seaters, the fact that it took him this long to make any significant mistakes is still impressive…

    3. Have to agree it looks like GRO was losing speed earlier, but that could also be because VES braked later or simply because he was so much closer.

      1. I studied the whole thing compared to a previous lap where onscreen graphics were available and we could see their braking points. Grosjean didn’t brake earlier. Max kept his foot on the gas longer than other times. That why it seems like the Lotus braked earlier. Normally we couldn’t know but luck brought it we had onscreen graphics two laps before and when the accident happen we were onboard with Max and could hear when he lift of the gas and braked. From that it’s obvious he was still on the gas at a point he was already braking in previous laps.

  8. let's go DUTCH
    30th May 2015, 13:50

    With all due respect… FIA and stewards concluded correctly that RG did not brake earlier than in the previous round…HOWEVER: the comparisson-film below clearly shows that RG slowed down significantly earlier by lifting AND suddenly chose à Total different racing line while being aware of MAX being behind him and being wat faster https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=7goXvwbvwlc

    1. @let’s go DUTCH
      There are plenty of comments made here that answer to your claims and I have nothing new to add to them. Maybe you should take a look at them.

  9. Normally when a car is overtaking another, a third guy can sneak past. Or sometimes a guy getting lapped let another one go by mistake because of blue flags. But considering Monaco is a special case and it is much difficult to let a car lap you, maybe they should prohibit using blue flags for overtaking. It would decrease the chance for on-track action for the viewers. But what if now cars don’t wanna give room to leaders despite the blue flags because they may get overtaken in Monaco? Leaders would be losing valuable time getting stuck behind others until the guy in front finds a way to let only one of them go. Though what Grosjean did was brilliant I think.

    Also, this is something sky people were talking during the race I think: should blue flags be removed? I don’t think they should. It would make the races more boring unlike what people expect. People would get stuck behind others in places like Monaco, Spain etc.

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