Romain Grosjean revealed that Sebastian Vettel came over to apologise when the two touched each other at Turn 2 in F1 Russian GP.
When two F1 drivers – Haas’ Grosjean and Ferrari’s Vettel, neither often credited with having side-by-side racing prowess entered Sochi’s Turn 2 whilst interlocking wheels, fans at home might just have winced. Later their concern would prove justified.
Vettel, on the inside of he turn, gave little quarter to Grosjean, forcing the Frenchman wide, and onto the susage kerbs. In accordance with the rules, the Haas F1 driver had to go around the bollards, but his attempt to do so was futile.
Unable to navigate the slalom, the Haas driver drove through the Styrofoam barriers, ultimately bringing out the virtual safety car as marshals had to repair the minor damage he left in his wake, that is to re-fit the bollard for the second time in the grand prix.
The moment had little bearing on the race of Grosjean, nor did it that of Vettel, but nonetheless the former shared that the latter apologised to him for the maneuver. ” I managed to get through but second time I had a contact with Seb, he came and apologised and then I was on the orange kerb, I tried to make it but it was not going to happen,” the GPDA head divulged.
Other issues of more significance did plague Grosjean’s race, namely an abhorrent lack of rear-end grip, which he described as the worst he’s ever experienced. “We got a really good first lap, managed to get a Top 10, then re-start happened and I could tell that something was off on the car, I have rarely driven a car with such little rear end.
“So, we tried all to push forward but in the middle stint, the hard tyres, I went out of rubbers on the front-left, just because I was managing so much the rear end. We pitted again and tried to move forward but too difficult to overtake,” summed up Grosjean.
The race of Vettel was also largely unaffected by this scuffle, despite minor contact having been made. The German had a curious outing where he made it inside the Top 10 and fought against Renault valiantly but eventually had to settle with no points.
In fact, his efforts helped Charles Leclerc to beat one Renault. “I had a bad first lap, and I couldn’t really benefit from other peoples’ crashes,” said Vettel. “I couldn’t go anywhere, and then after that I was stuck. I couldn’t overtake, I really struggled.
“My race was a bit compromised. I was not happy with the performance. On Friday, I think the new parts were doing what we expected. It’s a very small step, not a huge one in terms of performance, but we knew that going in. So for sure it doesn’t hurt,” summed up Vettel.
There was some controversy around Ferrari’s press release as well after the grand prix where it stated that Vettel spent the entire race outside points. In a way it was factually incorrect statement to make from the Italian manufacturer.
Yes, it meant that the German never had the Top 10 pace as him running in the points was due to strategy difference but perhaps the wording could have been better. Here’s the release: https://www.ferrari.com/en-EN/formula1/articles/f1-russian-gp-2020-race
Here’s the clash between Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/9/2020_Russian_Grand_Prix__Bollards_fly_as_Vettel_and_Grosjean_collide.html
Here’s Lance Stroll on no penalty for Charles Leclerc