‘There was not much more I could do’ – Grosjean defends himself after Russell collision
George Russell was furious with Romain Grosjean after his Singapore Grand Prix ended in the wall after the duo collided. They discussed the incident after the race, with Grosjean telling the Briton he did all he could to avoid a collision. The stewards investigated, deemed no driver was “wholly” to blame, and took no further action….
Williams’ Russell was battling to keep Grosjean’s Haas behind, having recovered from an early pit stop for a new front wing, when the two came together, pitching Russell into the wall and out the race. Grosjean continued, but only finished 11th.
Speaking after the race, Russell said: “I don’t know what he was thinking, but it’s not the first time Romain has done something like that.”
But Grosjean gave his side of the story: “I haven’t seen any footage. It’s difficult to say from inside the car. I was on the outside for Turn 8, we were side by side. George went on throttle early, I was on the left and I don’t think there was much room for me to go more to the left, obviously there is a wall there.
“I think he had a moment mid-corner, with his rear, touched my front and sent him the other way round. I think it’s a bit unfortunate, but there’s not much more room I can go to the left. Obviously George is not super happy but I don’t think I had much more room to go left.”
The stewards spoke to both drivers and reviewed video evidence. They deemed both drivers “contributed to the incident and that both drivers could have mitigated the incident”. As a result, they took no further action.
Grosjean hinted that if the rules were tweaked, such an incident wouldn’t happen. “It’s a bit of a grey area the rules, regarding who has got the priority,” he said. “We have seen a lot of people going wide and gaining an advantage of going wide.
“Obviously, I’m for gravel on exit of corners, maybe it would change mentality and we would have to leave more space because that is what I have been saying for a long time. If there is a wall, you cannot disappear and obviously there is contact.”
It was one moment in an ultimately frustrating race for Grosjean, who was this weekend announced as a Haas driver for 2020, the Frenchman having rued Haas's repeated inability to make the tyres work.
“It was a long race, it’s been tough,” said Grosjean. “On a few occasions we looked like we were OK in terms of pace, but tyre degradation is huge, really big. We tried to stay long on the medium, but it completely died by the end. Behind a Williams it’s hard to overtake. We finally did. But then we pitted, put the soft on and then we were having a tough time.”
Grosjean’s 11th place finish means he has now gone four races without a points finish and has scored just once in nine Grands Prix.