Red Bull isn’t happy despite winning the Japanese Grand Prix. The team had the front row locked out during qualifying and were looking for a big dual points haul for the constructor’s title but that was scuttled on the first corner of the first lap when Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean collected Red Bull’s Mark Webber. while both drivers were able to continue the race, the result wasn’t what Red Bull were looking for and the repeat offender status of Grosjean has now left Williams F1’s Pastor Maldonado quietly in the penumbra of Grosjean’s crashing reputation.
The Frenchman was handed a 10-second stop/go penalty but Webber says he thinks the young driver should take another sabbatical which refers to the one-race ban Grosjean experienced for the Italian Grand Prix after another first lap incident. Webber told reporters:
“I haven’t obviously seen what happened at the start but the guys confirmed that it was the first-lap nutcase again Grosjean,” Webber said.
“The rest of us are trying to fight for some decent results each weekend but he is trying to get to the third corner as fast as he can at every race.
“It makes it frustrating because a few big guys probably suffered from that and maybe he needs another holiday.
“He needs to have a look at himself, it was completely his fault. How many mistakes can you make, how many times can you make the same error? First-lap incidents… yeah… it’s quite embarrassing at this level for him.”
Webber wasn’t the only Red Bull employee concerned over Grosjean’s actions as team boss Christian Horner told reporters:
“I think the most concerning thing is when it is repeat incidents,” he said. “If you make mistakes that’s fine, but the key thing is to learn from them.
“He’s hosing away points for his team, they are fighting in the constructors’ championship and I would be surprised if they were too impressed by that. Seven incidents this year is more than enough, Mark was a victim of the action today and that cost him at least a podium.”
For Grosjean’s part, he knew he had a big mess up and told the press:
“Ever since I came back in Singapore my priority has been to be very cautious at the start, and I was watching Sergio [Perez] on my left to make sure there was no contact with him. There was quite a big speed difference between me and Mark [Webber] as I came into the first corner which caught me by surprise and we collided. It was a stupid mistake. Mark [Webber] came to see me after the race and was obviously not happy, but I apologised and we have to move on.”
Some fans have viewed the incident and felt that Webber had braked hard and the slowed so rapidly that there was little Grosjean could do. How do you see it? Was the penalty justified and Webber ire right?