Drivers share thoughts after multiple collision
5 November 2012 – The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix delivered a selection of wild incidents, one of which was the pile-up at Turn 14 on the 38th lap. Both Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber dropped out of the race immediately, whereas Paul di Resta and Sergio Pérez headed towards the pits. Later, the Sauber driver was given a ten-second stop/go penalty.
The incident began to unfold as di Resta challenged Grosjean for fifth place on the exit of Turn 10, pulling ahead of the Lotus. In the braking zone for the next corner, Pérez attempted an impressive move which saw the Sauber drive around the outside of both opponents, only to force di Resta across the grass at the Turn 12-13 chicane. The Force India went ahead as the Sauber rejoined from its own off-track excursion and was hit by Grosjean; Pérez spun, with Grosjean and Webber coming to blows as the Frenchman avoided the sideways Mexican.
“We were looking really good and I had the feeling even a podium would have been possible,” Pérez commented. “Then after my pit-stop I got stuck behind Grosjean and di Resta and could not get by because I didn’t have enough straight-line speed. I had to risk a lot to get by, but then unfortunately collided with the Lotus and my race was over. It’s a real shame because our race pace was very good.”
Grosjean’s retirement was his seventh from 17 race starts so far this year.
“I’m disappointed, as I was running pretty well,” he said. “It was a tight battle, with three of us in a row at Turn 11, then Sergio went off-track at Turn 13 and came back on the inside at 14, leaving me with no room to go anywhere else. Mark then came from behind and we touched…it was a big shame. A great day for the team, but an unlucky one for me.”
Webber’s demise confirmed that Red Bull would not be sealing a third straight constructors’ title in Abu Dhabi. The Australian was coming from behind following incidents with Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa in the same part of track.
“Nothing really worked out for us today,” he recalled. “I tried to go down the inside when the cars ahead made contact, I thought there was an opportunity, but then Grosjean made contact with my car and that was the end for us. Whatever we tried today, it just wasn’t working out.”
The incident can be viewed below:
Commentary from Sky Sports’ David Croft and Martin Brundle