'Unacceptable' – Sainz and Grosjean at odds over British Grand Prix battle
After Romain Grosjean’s defensive driving during the British Grand Prix incurred the wrath of Carlos Sainz – not to mention Daniel Riccairdo and the stewards – the French driver and his Spanish counterpart still could not agree on the legality of the moves ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone.
After staying out on the medium tyres on which he began the race while the rest of the field pitted under the Lap 13 Safety Car, Grosjean found himself defending against the likes of McLaren’s Sainz and Renault’s Ricciardo.
The Haas driver then received a black-and-white flag – a formal warning about his driving standards – for moving under braking in his defence of P5 against Sainz on Lap 22, before frustrating Ricciardo with defence of P7 on Lap 36.
And ahead of this weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Sainz reiterated his displeasure at Grosjean's driving.
“Personally I think it was unacceptable from a driver’s point of view,” he said. “When you are behind someone, it doesn’t matter if you leave a gap on the right-hand-side as he claimed he was leaving.
I would most likely complain because that’s what we do on the radio to get the position for free...
“I think you cannot react to a movement of the driver behind you. I think you need to commit to your defence, to your line and not react to the driver who is coming behind and he was clearly waiting for me to make a move to cut me off the track, and I think that is unacceptable, and if I have a chance I will tell him.
“I think he will agree if he would have been in my position although he probably will not admit it in the media but we all know… he probably knows what he did was not correct.”
On the other hand, Grosjean argued: “The one [move] on Carlos, it didn’t look that bad. He had half of the track to go. I mean, I would most likely complain because that’s what we do on the radio to get the position for free – and it’s a bit of a shame, maybe we shouldn’t be allowed to complain that much to race control to get the position, but I don’t know. I think we’re here to race.
“It’s always going to be two sides of the story: I’m always going to tell you 'it was OK, it was on the edge', and the other one would say 'It’s not OK…'. That’s why we’re racers, we’re competitors: we just want to push the limit.
“As I say, I did the best I could. If I’m here it’s not to make friends. I’ve got huge respect for all the drivers but on track I respect myself and I respect my race and I push it.”