28 July 2013
Hungarian Grand Prix: drive-thru 'unfair', says Grosjean
Romain Grosjean said he'd been harshly treated with a drive-thru in Hungary, but he apologised to Jenson Button and took the blame for an earlier incident.
Romain Grosjean said that he'd been unfairly treated by the race stewards, after receiving a drive-thru penalty for exceeding track limits while competing a pass on Ferrari's Felipe Massa through turn 4 at the Hungaroring on Sunday afternoon.
"I had at least two wheels on the white line of the track," Grosjean insisted. "I tried the outside and I pushed hard."
Massa's team mate Fernando Alonso, who had been just ahead of the incident, didn't agree: "Grosjean was concentrating on only me, maybe he forgot that we are racing  cars. I was happy that he paid penalty after to compensate a little bit for his aggressiveness."
But Grosjean was supported in his indignation over the incident by his boss, Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier.
"I do feel the same actually because I feel this penalty was a little bit too much," said Boullier. "He had nowhere to go so he was a little bit four wheels off the track, but just a couple of centimetres.
"Obviously it's very harsh when you get such a penalty to recover when you're fighting for the podium," Boullier continued, after Grosjean went on to complete the race in sixth position after having looked a strong contender for a podium place.
"He had high ambition at the beginning of the race but this is the race and I was just telling him that he did a super weekend again. No foot wrong and two in a row now," he added. "It means he understood what he built up since the beginning of the season and building up over the last year as well now.
"Clearly now he has the best line to build strong weekends like this and fight with guys like Kimi, Alonso and Vettel, so that's pretty good," he added.
Grosjean did apologise to Jenson Button for a different incident earlier in the race that saw the two of them bang wheels heavily, admitting that incident had been a mistake on his part.
"With Jenson I was a bit too much on the left. The track goes narrow uphill and I was wider than that so I want to apologise," he told Sky Sports F1. "We were fortunate that none of us got anything [damage], so that was good."
While the incident with Massa is closed after he served the penalty, the contact with Button saw both driver called to the race stewards' office to discuss the incident.
"I'm going to see the stewards about it," said Button. "But I think it's pretty straightforward - I couldn't go anymore left. That's it really. Unless I'm on the grass, which is obviously not where I want to be when I'm braking for a corner, he had no way of not hitting me. He obviously didn't realise how narrow the circuit was at that corner."
The stewards took a relatively lenient approach on this occasion, handing the Frenchman an additional 20s time penalty that didn't affect the final positions.
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