Verstappen was handed a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming race in Canada for slamming into the back of the Frenchman’s Lotus on the run down to Sainte Devote on the 62nd lap, but Grosjean - who was banned for one race in 2012 for triggering a first corner pile-up in Belgium - suggested that the mistake was all part of the rookie’s learning process.
“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 said. “He’ll learn; he’s a very talented driver.”
Grosjean also distanced himself from suggestions that he’d brake tested Verstappen, saying: “Of course not, what would that possibly achieve? 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.”
Despite the severity of the impact with Verstappen’s STR10, Lotus technical director Nick Chester revealed that Grosjean’s car only sustained minor damage in the incident, saying: “The floor suffered a bit in the impact, but the rear suspension resisted well.”
Grosjean, who was running in tenth at the time of the clash, went on to finish the race in 12th place.