George Russell, Williams, Singapore, 2019

Russell: Grosjean wrong to say he had no room to avoid crash

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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George Russell rejected Romain Grosjean’s claim he could not have avoided the collision between the pair in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Williams driver crashed out of the race following contact with Grosjean at turn four. Russell said Grosjean should have backed out of his overtaking attempt before the pair made contact.

“Romain had his right to lunge down the outside,” said Russell. “At the apex of the corner we were side-by-side but I had the inside momentum and come mid-to-exit phase I was well ahead, half a car’s length to three-quarters of a car’s length ahead of him.

“By that point the guy on the inside’s got the right to run the guy wide – not running wide, but take the racing line. And it’s the guy on the outside’s job to concede the corner.

“I don’t really know what he was trying to do because even if he committed a bit more he still wouldn’t have been able to overtake. The next thing his front right’s hit my rear left and we’re in the wall.

“At the point of contact there was sufficient space for him on the outside, I’ve just been watching the video. There was a good metre for him.”

Grosjean finished the race but Russell approached him afterwards about the collision. “I just sort of said ‘what was that?’.

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“He said I left him no room and that he was in the wall before he hit me. I just said that’s absolutely not the case because I’ve had the last hour to be able to watch the video and that wasn’t the case.”

Russell was adamant Grosjean was at fault for the collision. “On a street track you can’t hang around the outside and abuse track limits,” he said.

“It’s a shame that it just ruined my race and not his too. So that’s probably why he doesn’t feel like he was not in the wrong. If the exact same incident were to happen again there’s nothing I would do different.”

However Grosjean said he believed Russell caused the collision by losing control of his car.

“I haven’t seen any footage, it’s difficult say from inside the car,” said the Haas driver. “It was on the outside in turn eight, at the apex side-by-side and then George went on throttle early.

“I don’t think there was much room for me to go more to the left. Obviously there’s a wall there. I just need to see the footage.

“What I think is he had a moment mid-corner with his rear, touched my front and then sent him the other way around. It’s a bit unfortunate but as I say there’s not much more room I can go to the left.”

The stewards have summoned both drivers over the incident.

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7 comments on “Russell: Grosjean wrong to say he had no room to avoid crash”

  1. Still struggling to figure out why Haas retained Grosjean. Does he have some dirt on Steiner perhaps?

  2. I only saw the replay once, but judging from Grosjean’s onboard, it looks like he still had some more space on the left: so he could/should’ve conceded the corner or tried to go a bit closer to the wall, as now it seemed he just more or less turned into Russell has the Williams was just starting to accelerate out of the corner.

  3. It was clear that Grosjean was going to hit Russell’s left rear tyre well before it actually hit and he did nothing to avoid it.

    The guy barely has any judgement. And the fact he’s involved in avoidable crashs all the time only reinforces it.

  4. One more year of Grosjean, people. Remember that!

    1. Should have been sacked after Spa 2012

    2. I’d love to see the amount of damage in $$$ this nuisance has caused in his F1 career. It’s a joke, how does Haas even manage to insure him to drive the car!? ;)

  5. “By that point the guy on the inside’s got the right to run the guy wide… On a street track you can’t hang around the outside and abuse track limits.”

    He’s not wrong that stewards have allowed drivers to run each other wide and off the track in recent years—but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s advisable when there is nowhere “wide” to go. I’d compare this to Verstappen’s run-in with Ocon a year ago in Interlagos. Russell may, in principle, have had the “right” to place the car where he did, but it was a risk that put himself at the mercy of the other driver to concede.

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