Romain Grosjean has admitted that he felt annoyed by the accusations following the crash between himself and Max Verstappen during last Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, believing it to be evident that he was blameless in the incident.
During the closing stages of the race, Verstappen crashed into the back of Grosjean and flew into the barrier at Sainte Devote, sparking a safety car period that ultimately cost Lewis Hamilton victory.
Although the Dutchman was unhurt, he was deemed by the stewards to have caused the accident and handed a five-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen reacted to this by claiming that Grosjean had caused the accident by brake-testing him, only for Lotus to prove via the data on the Frenchman’s car that he had in fact braked later than the previous lap.
Speaking ahead of the race in Montreal next weekend, Grosjean rejected the idea that he had brake-tested Verstappen and admitted that the suggestion that he had caused the crash was annoying.
“Of course not, what would that possibly achieve?” Grosjean said when asked if he had brake-tested Verstappen.
“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 FIA are pretty thorough in their investigations and 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.”
Grosjean ultimately finished the race down in 11th place as a result of the incident, but remained upbeat thanks to the performance of the E23 Hybrid car.
“Despite not finishing in the points, there are quite a few positives from Monaco,” Grosjean said. “The circuit itself is a good test of how a car behaves in low-speed corners, and the E23 worked well.
“We also were able to employ a good strategy to get back into a point-scoring position after the gearbox penalty meant we started pretty far back on the grid. We also showed that the E23 has pretty strong rear suspension, even when attacked by another car.”