Grosjean ‘wants to punch walls’ after early exit in Russia
On a four-race pointless streak heading into Russia, Romain Grosjean wore a big smile on his face after qualifying ninth on Saturday, which became eighth once Max Verstappen’s engine penalty was applied.
But in the event, the Frenchman’s bid for points lasted just four corners as he found himself the victim of a three-car, opening-lap spat involving Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo – and unsurprisingly Grosjean was distinctly non-plussed.
“Got an average start, Turn 3 was ok and then Turn 4 I was up in the air,” was the Haas man’s blunt assessment of what happened.
“I just want to punch walls. We’ve had a tough patch, a rough patch, and eventually here we are competitive. Huge amount of pressure for us to do something good on a weekend we can do something good, we did really well yesterday and I think the car was decent for today’s race. Obviously being taken out on lap one is ******.”
Ricciardo, who had been the other piece of bread on the outside of a Giovinazzi sandwich and ended up with race-ending damage, was fairly philosophical about what had happened, saying “that’s the midfield”.
“I was on the inside at Turn 4, Grosjean was on the outside," explained Ricciardo. "I expected him to defend a little but he left it wide open so it was quite safe for me to go on the inside. Then I saw the Alfa come through as well and it was three cars and I was like ‘nope’…
“I imagined Grosjean wasn’t going to get the better end of that. I didn’t get expect to get hit from the inside but obviously I did. We had floor damage and a puncture. We tried to continue but we had too much damage to have any pace. I try and look at it from the perspective that if I qualify higher up on the grid then I’m less in the bad stuff.
"I’ll take some responsibility, but in the accident itself I was a passenger.”
The good news for Haas? Kevin Magnussen went on to score two points for P9 - the American team's first points in five races.