Crash-prone Grosjean gets ten-place penalty for Canada

By Jerome Pugmire, AP, 26 May 2013
© AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Romain Grosjean will start next month's Canadian Grand Prix ten places back on the grid after driving into Daniel Ricciardo's car at the Monaco GP on Sunday.

Grosjean, who crashed in practice and also in qualifying prior to the race, lost control of his Lotus coming out of the tunnel toward the end of the incident-strewn race and went straight into the Australian's Toro Rosso. The FIA said in a statement that Grosjean caused the collision on Lap 62 and imposed the penalty.

"I could see that Grosjean had got a good run out of the tunnel and that he was close, so I defended my line and the next thing I knew he was over the back of me," Ricciardo said. "I believe it was a misjudgement on his part and a costly one that was quite dangerous, even if we are both OK. This race can be frustrating ... but I didn't have the pace to move forward."

They were among six drivers who failed to finish as the race was interrupted twice when the safety car came out and once by a red flag.

Grosjean saw things a bit differently.

"Daniel seemed to be really struggling with his rear tyres," he said. "I was caught out by him braking early in the middle of the circuit and there was nowhere for me to go. It's a frustrating end to the weekend, but the real damage was done in qualifying when I didn't get through to Q3."

Grosjean felt his failure to make the final round of qualifying on Saturday was partly Ricciardo's fault.

"That was Daniel again, who I was held up by. But it certainly wasn't my intention to end my race in the back of his car," Grosjean said. "Now we just press the reset button and head to Canada."

Grosjean earned a reputation for reckless driving last season and was banned for one race for causing a pile-up at the Belgian GP. He was even told by his own team to be less aggressive, particularly when driving from the grid and into the first corner at breakneck speed.

But team principal Eric Boullier continues to back the 27-year-old Grosjean, who is one of the quickest in F1 -- providing he stays on the track.

"Romain had a difficult weekend but showed fantastic pace," Boullier said. "We've lost ground this weekend, so we'll be pushing twice as hard when we get to Canada to make amends."

 

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