Romain Grosjean felt Pierre Gasly was not at fault for impending him during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite the Haas Formula 1 driver getting knocked out in Q2.

Grosjean was eliminated from the second part of qualifying in Monaco after encountering a slow-moving Gasly in the first sector, meaning he was unable to improve on his time and ended up 13th.

Gasly has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the infringement, but Grosjean believes a lack of communion from his Red Bull team was to blame for the incident, rather than driver error.

“At the end, traffic cost us the chance to move into Q3,” Grosjean said.

“I was clearly going to crash into Pierre but it’s not his fault, we can’t see anything with these mirrors, we rely on the radio and I don’t think he was warned on the radio by Red Bull.

“The same happened to me in Bahrain with Lando Norris. I’m obviously unhappy, and even though Gasly was penalised, it’s not his fault, and it’s not going to change my qualifying.

“I’ll start where I am, and for tomorrow, that’s a bad thing. It’s Monaco, there’s not much we can hope for as qualifying is key.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner felt Grosjean would have “easily” progressed into Q3 had he not had his lap ruined.

“Romain was impeded by Gasly - it was the wrong moment, at the wrong time, at the wrong place,” Steiner explained.

“He was pushed out of getting into Q3 by that, otherwise I think he would have made it in easily to Q3.

“Overall, I think we’re happier today than upset,” he added. “We start P5 tomorrow with Kevin, because Gasly was penalised, and we just need to deliver a clean race, and get as many points as possible so we can build on our tally from Spain.”

Gasly’s penalty means Kevin Magnussen will start Sunday’s race from fifth on the grid, having put in one of the standout performances of qualifying.

“It was a really good session,” the Dane said. "I had a really good car, I could push, I felt comfortable. I put a lot of stress on the guys in Q2 with the damage to the front wing in the session after I kissed the wall, they did a fantastic job to turn it around, fix it, and send me out again.

“I got into Q3 with a good lap, then did another one there. We know how important qualifying is at this track, so to get P6 at the front of the midfield again - the fake pole position - I’m extremely happy with it.

“It was a perfect job from the whole team, not just me, it was a team effort.”

 

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