Romain Grosjean might be impressed with Max Verstappen's introduction to F1, but admits that he was a little irked not hear the rookie say 'sorry' after their coming together in Monaco.
Verstappen was fighting back through the field after being delayed at a mid-race pit-stop when he caught up to Grosjean, the Frenchman wise to the youngster's ploy of following Sebastian Vettel past backmarkers under the blue flags. Having blocked the Toro Rosso driver's 'surprise attack', Grosjean then had to defend on older tyres, until a misjudgement saw Verstappen make heavy contact with the rear of the Lotus before sliding into the Ste Devote tyre wall.
Opinions naturally varied as to who was to blame, with Grosjean – a reformed F1 'bad boy' himself – citing the impetuosity of youth and Verstappen having the nerve to claim he had been brake-tested by the Lotus driver. What annoyed Grosjean more than being punted into the escape road and out of the points, however, was Verstappen's lack of humility when it came to offering an apology.
“It does [disappoint me] because we went to the stewards after the grand prix and I tapped him on the back, thinking he could say 'I'm sorry' but, instead, he said I brake-tested [him], which is completely wrong as I actually braked later than the lap before,” the Frenchman recounted, “It is not the way I'd like things to happen.”
While some may feel Grosjean's complaint is a case of name-calling involving pots and kettles, the four-year veteran clearly feels that he has served enough time for his own F1 crimes, and wants Verstappen to avoid the same pitfalls that befell him.
“I've done a load of mistakes, but I've learned from them and been on the podium,” he pointed out, “There aren't any problems with having a crash or making a mistake in the race, but I think the only key is to admit and learn from it and apologise to the people you crash into.
“Max is really, really talented and what he's been doing is quite impressive, but he's made a mistake and I just find it a bit disappointing that he doesn't learn from it. Even this morning, in the press conference, he says 'I'm going to drive the same way'… F1 is dangerous – he just needs to keep that in mind…”
Asked whether he intended to pursue the apology in Canada this weekend, Grosjean admitted that he would prefer to concentrate on getting back into the points after the contact saw him wind up a couple of places shy in Monaco.
“To me, it's a closed matter,” he confirmed, “I've learned from the past – I've been called the 'first lap nutcase', which hurt a little bit, but it made me much stronger and I learned from it. The only thing I can wish him is that he realises and learns from that and then I'm sure he's going to have some very successful races.”