Lotus: Verstappen was “silly” in clash with Grosjean

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane is adamant that Romain Grosjean did nothing wrong prior to being hit by Max Verstappen at Monaco’s Ste Devote corner.

The stewards decided that the Dutchman was at fault, handing him a five-place grid penalty, but he has since claimed on Twitter that he was “brake tested” by Grosjean.

“It was fairly clear,” Permane told this writer. “Verstappen did a bit of a brainless move. It was very obvious from the video. Romain doesn’t move, or he moves a little bit, and you are allowed to move a little bit, but it’s not like he’s wavering all over the track. He’s not braked early or anything like that. It’s very clear that Verstappen’s just been silly.”

Permane has that Grosjean braked 5m later than on the previous lap, and that the stewards acknowledged that evidence when penalising Verstappen.

Although Grosjean was able to continue his subsequent pace was compromised by the incident: “It damaged the floor a little bit, but he was hit fairly square-on on the wheel, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. He was also on very worn soft tyres that had cooled down after the safety car.”

Another disappointment for the team was the early retirement of Pastor Maldonado, who had made Q3. The Venezuelan was in brake trouble even before Verstappen’s successful pass at Ste Devote.

“Pastor had a hydraulic leak, which manifested itself straight away as braking problems, and we retired him because we were worried about the safety of the braking system. He was having to brake very early and had a very long pedal.”

Meanwhile Permane believes that both Canada and Austria will play to the strengths of the E23.

“We should have had both cars in the top 10, we thought we would struggle a little bit more than that. We should have come away with a point and a bit of damage limitation, but we’re pretty confident that the next races will be pretty strong.

“Canada is about straightline speed, which we have in abundance, and it looks like we have good slow speed. The engine performance will help us in Canada and Austria. I think we can be reasonably competitive everywhere.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

13 responses to “Lotus: Verstappen was “silly” in clash with Grosjean

  1. When I saw the replay of MV’s crash, I said to myself – I said, he Maxed out, 4 sure. Good thing everyone is alive.

    • hlg8888

      A lot of things are uncertain in life but believe me Max being maxed out isn’t one of them.

      • How much are they paying him 2B there?

        I’ll do a naked run of any circuit around the world if Max is still in F1 2 years from now.

      • W0o0dy

        @iberianmph.com: please leave your contact details and make sure your passport is in order. You sir are going streaking around the world!

  2. Zanquis

    The boy has clearly inherited his mother’s Motorsport skills and unfortunately his father’s brain (and fans).
    Hope he learns from his mistake but I doubt it as the Verstappen camp seems completely in denial.

  3. Hmmm… I’m of the same mind as you about Max. But if not…. how about Nordschleife? 😉

  4. Pollerunner

    He was not silly he was a racing driver racing. And yes sometimes it goes wrong. But do we want racing or cars going round in the place they qualified? Alway some one will complain no matter what. It was his driving and misjudgment that made that race. And forced Mercedes to make an error. They was not better. Greate luck nobody was hurt. That was also a good part. Search youtube for Senna and Jackie interview. If you do not go for a gap you are no longer a racing driver…But big bucks and corp talk has changed so misjudgments are not allowed also your chances in the championship are hurt as all top cars finishes all races so you can not catch up. Just look in 70-80-90 how many cars finished then you could win with 51 points and only 8-9 finishes.

  5. geoff groom

    as I followed the race on my Twitter account, I do remember about 2 laps before this incident Grosjean being told to ‘hold him up, don’t let him pass’. There are many subtle ways to achieve that end. And as for all the ‘he’s too young, inexperienced’ gaggle, may I respectfully remind you that a certain Mr. Michael did some rather dodgy/dangerous moves when he returned to F1. – and he was a 7 times world champion!

    • GeorgeK

      Spot on.

      And maybe the braking data shows WHERE Grosjean braked, but did anyone check, or is there data that will show, WHEN he lifted off the throttle? Same as braking early to my mind.

      I was of the opinion he was too young when it was first announced, but he’s definitely shown talent and a willingness to mix it up. He has a lot to learn, but like Ricciardo, the aggressiveness to take on a pass is not something acquired but inherent. I believe Lewis possesses the same quality.

      • The data that Lotus provided to the Stewards after the race showed that Grosjean lifted 5m later than prior lap, as well as braked 5m later than the prior lap, per tweats by Alan Permane yesterday.

        Agreed about MV having strong passing abilities like HAM and RIC. But I’ll suggest it’s also learned, not just inherent. For example, HAM and his father did extensive practice and drilling in karts to learn to brake later.

      • Hans Holdenwood

        Problem with lifting off or braking if you saw the video it happens in a blink. I don’t think GROS braked or lifted earlier it maybe felt that way.
        Max didn’t want to overtake there he wanted to try after that corner to mechanical grip outpower GROS that is why Max needed to be really clos to GROS.
        MAX was suprised by something and he tryed to evade GROS which with reaction time involved and i was suprised MAX almost evade him. I think it was beter if MAX didn’t try to evade

  6. geoff groom

    3.3 kms in 80 seconds!/ 41 metres per second? So 5 metres is….? It’s not timing,but position. And my memory also seems to recall that Webber branded Grosjean as a ‘first lap nutcase’,Belgium 2012 was not a shining moment for GRO (he was banned for a race)and he had something of a record in his first 2 years of being impetuous.and reckless
    .I think it something of an irony that Max’s creds are now being called into question. Lotus,of course, defend GRO – but then Lotus has had a lot,a lot,of practice at that since 2012.
    Perhaps Max, after 2 or 3 laps of chasing GRO, thought GRO was predictable.Therein lies the rub!
    (ps. I’m a LH fan actually, but think it unfair for MV to have been punished given GRO’s record for precipitating incidences).

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