Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015

Grosjean collects penalty points for Stevens clash

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015Romain Grosjean had two penalty points added to his licence following his clash with Will Stevens during the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Lotus driver was deemed responsible for the contact between the two drivers while lapping the Manor driver. In addition to a five-second time penalty during the race, which had no effect on his finishing position of tenth, Grosjean moves up to a total of four penalty points.

“OK if it was my fault with the Marussia I’m very sorry,” Grosjean told his team on the radio after the race. “But the rule says that the lapped car should leave the line.”

Grosjean later accepted responsibility for the incident. “I thought I was past the Manor,” he said, “but it was soon clear that I wasn’t.”

“It was my fault entirely and I apologise for it. You never stop learning as a driver.”

Stevens was unimpressed with the Lotus driver. “He’s so stupid,” he told his race engineer, “he cuts in front of me every single time he overtakes”.

“Where does he want me to go, off the track?”

The stewards took Stevens’ side, ruling Grosjean “moved unnecessarily abruptly to the left thus causing a collision”.

However the stewards cleared Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg of any blame for the incident which caused the Force India driver to spin at the chicane as Vettel overtook him. “No driver was at fault,” they ruled.

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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27 comments on “Grosjean collects penalty points for Stevens clash”

  1. At least did he admit fault unlike a certain Dutchman.

    1. There are such things as race incidents where it’s not really anybodies fault. Though i do think verstappen was to quick to point the finger to grosjean. He shouldn’t have made the brake test comment. I doubt any f1 driver does that right at the end of a straight.

  2. Was that bad karma for giving so much grief to young Max for a rookie mistake that he did in bags and proved still can do?!

    1. What grief did GRO give VES? MAS gave him more grief.

      1. GRO merely responded to VES accusations of brake-testing which were proven untrue. It’s completely logical that GRO would refute it

  3. I agree with the stewards on both counts. Vettel had the overlap on the outside while Hulk had the inside line, so they both had a right to the corner, just unfortunate there isn’t space for two cars through there.

    1. I disagree on Vettel. I think he only started to pull ahead under braking. With Hulkenberg level but on the inside on the way into an incredibly tight corner, it fully belonged to him unless Vettel could move fully ahead under braking. As he didn’t do that, he should have yielded. Had they collided I believe Vettel would have been fully at fault and there would probably have been a penalty. But because there wasn’t contact he escaped punishment, even though the other driver had to sacrifice his race just to avoid the contact.

      1. I needed several seconds to read your lines, perhaps Vettel didn’t have that much time..

      2. The other driver didn’t sacrifice his race.

      3. @matt90

        I disagree on your disagree :). Even Hulkenberg came close to admitting he was probably hanging on too long to a position he was going to lose.

        Vettel also left enough space for Hulkenberg, just that Hulk would have needed to slow down a bit more.

        Hats off to both though, with Vettel bailing over the curb and Hulk spinning, both taking evasive action to avoid contact. Lessons other drivers should learn.

        I thought Massa on Ericsson was excellent wheel to wheel racing from both of them.

        1. @uan Also I think Maldonado did well in his racing with Vettel at the final chicane.

          1. @david-a

            I agree. Also Massa and Ericsson was tight but clean.

            I’ve looked at a reply of the Vettel overtake on Hulkenberg – I still think it was a racing incident, but it was much closer to what Lewis did to Rosberg in Bahrain last year at T2 (iirc).

            Vettel braked later and headed towards the apex of 13 and Hulkenberg followed sort of the same radius that Vettel was taking but that took him straight onto the curb.

            It was one of those disappearing gaps and I think Hulkenberg should have yielded. As he admitted, his race really wasn’t with Vettel at that point.

            It could have gone against Vettel. But then again, it wasn’t worse than Ricciardo on Kimi in Monaco.

      4. @matt90 I think Vettel realised what you said and realised a collision was going to happen and that is why he went over the kerb. Rarely you see both drivers taking action to avoid collision. Funnily that resulted in Hulkenberg spinning and Vettel gaining the place.

    2. That was actually fascinating. He overtook the car inside the chicane! Unbelievable that they didn’t touch. What a fascinating control from both… Maybe it looked sloppy going over those yellow thingies, but it was actually a fascinating move to me.

  4. That was very silly from Romain. This one was very clear from the first replay (it was not shown live, only afterwards). He moved left before clearing. Too optimistic and took himself out of a strong points position (he would be able to resist better than Maldonado as his tires were not so old).

    As for the Vettel and Hulkenberg incident, what could have they claimed? There was no collision nor any car off the track (Vettel slightly and Hulkenberg ran over the kerbs). Hulk spun because he took avoided action, but penalizing Vettel for a bold move would be another move against on track fighting and overtaking…

    1. Going over yellow parts was allowed anyway…

  5. “It was my fault entirely and I apologise for it. You never stop learning as a driver.”

    Fair play to Grosjean. His initial radio message was poor, but its comments like this that earn back the respect.

    1. I personally don’t care much for the radio transmissions. It is heat of the moment stuff and I look at them as entertainment for the viewer. It irks you sometimes, but you can emphasize with them at the same time.

  6. Good on Grojean for owning up to his error. Initially it was looking bad.

  7. Was funny to see him blame Stevens first but props to him to have come out and apologized for it.

    He had an opportunity to show Verstappen on how to react after a crash (exluding the radio) and got it right unlike the youngster.

    1. That radio message is also understandable – it just shows Grosjean thought he was already past the Manor. Post race, he had a chance to review the footage and he probably understood that Manor wasn’t as slow as he thought.

      BTW, who was on the racing line during the incident- Manor or Lotus? Not specific to this incident, but I see a lot of instances where the lapped cars drive slowly on racing line and “allow” the faster cars to go into the dirty part of the track to overtake them.

    2. So if you drive like grosjean, cause accidents, but you apologize for it, all is ok? How naive can you be….. Grosjean should have not be in this position in the first place. Who is the rookie now, not verstappen, it is grosjean for sure……..

  8. Alexandretti
    8th June 2015, 9:58

    Maybe people are right about rookie Verstappens pointing the finger at Grosjeans ‘braketest’ as a reason for the crash, but I hate these media trained answers you get from the drivers nowadays . I kinda miss the old days when you saw and heard real emotions on and off the track . We need characters like Mansell, senna , Irvine , not businessman who drive like its payday.

  9. Have to agree with Alexandretti here. All these coached responses are so cute. “Come home drunk (in the heat of the moment) smack your wife around, apologise in the morning and go on being the stand up guy that you are and everyone likes”.

  10. So when it happens, GRO cries that Stevens has hit him, and then later he comes to his senses and confesses that he messed up. Odd. He’s painted himself into a corner there. Not looking good.

    Max got 5 grid positions, Grosjean just 5 seconds. athough he managed to hit a MUCH slower car, from the FRONT. Every racing driver, every follower of the sport saw what he did and recognized it. Stevens even mentioned it was not a new thing to happen, but something GRO just does. He is a VERY dangerous driver when in proximity to other cars, plain and simple. Go look for his crashes, there are video complilation that will make you cringe.
    https://vimeo.com/48988538 (there are better ones out there)

    His tires seem to always be hungry for hostile bodywork. When there is contact, they don’t take a lick, but many big bites. It’s all about GRO’s driving style. It’s worse than I’ve seen in other crashy drivers who at least tried to get an advantage from it. Grosjean seems to at best not be aware of where his car is in relationship to others, or subconsiously takes decisions that vastly reduce the odds of a crash from being prevented. He didn’t give Stevens a chance. Drivers have died from smaller contacts at lower speeds.
    When Grosjean moved to block Max, he did so a fraction of a second before his braking point. Knowing it was Max there, knowing he has bad brakes, knowing his is slow on the track, really what odds did he leave for Max to breaking before he was? Max was intending to have a line of his own during braking, as you do. Grosjean didn’t let him, and prevented this so late that Max had to go back in time, brake 20-30 metres early and prevent the crash. If you seee where Max crossed the corner on 3 wheels, you see how much Grosjean cut him there. Where does defending end and cutting across start? And why just 5 seconds of penalty for a consistently crashing driver, and 5 grid positions for a rookie in what many call a racing incident?

    Your penalty in a crash seems to be more related to age and F1 experience than to anything else. If anything, an “experienced” driver should know better. More intent can be presumed if you create dangerous situations like Grosjean on Stevens. More than the one time, according to Stevens. Who do we believe?

    Max drove a faultless race. Lots of interaction with other cars, most of which were slower on the track despite faster engines. He made up time on his teammate suffering lesser traffic, brought the car home safe.
    Grosjean with his pointing finger had another braking zone acccident and initially blamed the victim again, before going into crisis management mode and acting more humbly.
    I suspect he’s had his best of days in F1. So many quality drivers out there who offer better PR and similar speed. F1 does need French drivers to uphold a strong tradition and represent fans, but surely there are others ready to take his place. It’s not only about speed in F1. And if I had made it to F1, I would not feel comfortable sharing a braking zone or corner with Grosjean. You just never know what’s going to happen. A sigh of relief when some distance has opened up again.

    “He crashed into me!!!”

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