‘I don’t know what he was thinking’ – Russell slams Grosjean for race-ending shunt
2019 has undoubtedly been a trying season for Williams, but they have at least shown fairly bulletproof reliability, with George Russell and Robert Kubica finishing every race heading into Singapore. But that record came to an end at Marina Bay on Sunday, with Russell left fuming after being turfed into a first retirement of the season by Haas’s Romain Grosjean.
In truth, Russell’s race began to unravel from the start, with the rookie losing his front wing after contact with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo at Turn 1. After pitting for a new nose and tyres, he gamely battled back into the race – but as he fought to keep Grosjean behind on lap 33, the two made contact, sending the Williams into an unforgiving wall.
Speaking after his long trip back to the pits, and having had the chance to watch the incident back, Russell had hardly calmed down.
“I had the inside of the corner going into the right hander. As I was at the apex I was fully ahead and taking my normal line on the exit," he explained. "After seeing the video it doesn’t even look like he’s trying to hold it – he’s sort of giving the corner up, but not fully giving the corner up. The next thing I know I’m in the wall, so frustrating.
“From my side in that situation it’s not like a normal circuit that if I squeeze him off he’s going to just run wide and carry on. I fully had the corner at the apex and just after the apex I was half a car width ahead of him, so by that point you need to concede the corner and give up.
“I don’t know what he was thinking, but it’s not the first time Romain has done something like that…”
The stewards announced that the incident would be investigated after the race, with both Russell and Grosjean – who recently signed a new deal with Haas – called to give their sides of the story…