Maldonado braked far too late, argues Grosjean
18 March 2012 – Romain Grosjean was dejected after missing out on a possible podium finish in Melbourne. The Franco-Swiss, who had qualified in an impressive third place, was out of the race on just the second lap after contact with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.
After a poor start which left him sixth, Grosjean took the middle line on the approach to Turn 13, with Maldonado pulling off a forceful move down the inside. However, with the Venezuelan having run wide on the exit, Grosjean firmly believes his rival is to blame.
“I think we could have achieved a great result today,” the reigning GP2 Champion commented. “It’s frustrating as I really wanted to make the chequered flag and even the podium, but on the positive side the car is performing very well. I was keeping pace with the guys in front of me and everything was looking good. My start wasn’t great, so we’ll need to have a look at the data.
“Then of course there was the collision with Pastor. From what I saw, he braked far too late and hit my right-front wheel, which broke the steering and that was it - my race was over. The team deserved better because they have been working very hard, but by tomorrow morning it will all be a memory. We’ll move on to Malaysia now, which is one of my favourite circuits, and focus on getting a result there.”
To raise the spirits of newly-named Lotus, team-mate Kimi Räikkönen scored six points by fighting up to seventh place from 18th on the grid.