Channel 4 commentator Mark Webber heavily criticized Haas’ Romain Grosjean after Sunday’s British Grand Prix, taking aim at the Frenchman’s defensive tactics and ability to race.
Grosjean found himself in the thick of a mid-field battle with his McLaren and Renault rivals after Haas kept its driver out during the second safety car period while most of the field pitted.
The strategy put Grosjean among the top ten where he sparred with Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo, with the former calling the erratic Frenchman’s driving “very dangerous” while the second labeled his maneuvers “sketchy”.
The behaviour was frowned upon by the stewards who gave Grosjean a black and white flag for moving under braking but also issued a post-race warning to the Haas driver.
Sainz takes aim at ‘very dangerous’ Grosjean – rues unlucky day
Regarding Grosjean’s defensive tactics, Webber believes the experienced Frenchman still doesn’t understand “what Grand Prix is all about”.
“I don’t think he understands the rules of engagement,” the Aussie told Channel 4.
“He is moving around very late in defending. He is saying he is leaving a car’s width on the inside, which technically he is, but this weaving in the middle of the road at high speed… he has got to be even further across to show his intention earlier.
“I think Grosjean has a gross misunderstanding of what current Grand Prix racing is all about in terms of wheel-to-wheel combat.
“He’s mentioned how Max Verstappen was in the past, and that is in the past, we have moved on. He’s the chairman of the GPDA. He should know the rules.
“For me, Grosjean is borderline out of his depth in Formula 1.”
Unsurprisingly, Grosjean was unapologetic for his actions although he admitted to putting in an extra effort to protect his position among the top ten.
“It’s not every day we’re running sixth or seventh in a race and I had to give everything I could to defend,” he said after the race.
“I think a few years ago we really wanted to put a rule in place that you can’t move under braking, following some of Max’s defending, but there weren’t any rules put in action.
“Therefore I pushed the limit a bit, got a warning, but I don’t regret anything. I tried to do the best I can.
Grosjean also responded to Sainz’s “dangerous” characterization of his driving.
“Driving dangerously? Yes, but you can argue that I wasn’t driving dangerously because I was always leaving a car’s width, so there was always the room for the other car to go next to me,” he added.
“I think a bit of a clarification on that would be nice, but also we don’t want to push ‘let them race’ away from Formula 1 because we want to have fights and be pushing hard.”
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