Romain Grosjean apologised after collision with Will Stevens in Canada
Frenchman running fifth at the time but recovers to claim point, even with 5s penalty; Maldonado also claims points finish on positive weekend for Lotus
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 15/06/15 3:39pm
Romain Grosjean has apologised for his collision with Will Stevens, which cost the Frenchman a strong points finish in Sunday’s Canadian GP.
Running in fifth place with 20 laps to go, the Lotus driver was lapping Stevens’ Manor car at the Turn 13/14 chicane when he cut across it too sharply, too soon.
Both drivers immediately ducked into into the nearby pits for repairs and although each immediately blamed the other for the incident, stewards soon handed Grosjean a five-second time penalty.
“It can be difficult with traffic here and I was held up a few times even when there were blue flags,” Grosjean said afterwards. “I thought I was past the Manor, but it was soon clear that I wasn’t. It was my fault entirely and I apologise for it. You never stop learning as a driver.”
Stevens, who finished 17th, said: “My race was going pretty much according to our one-stop plan and then on lap 50 I was hit by Grosjean as he was passing me, which was a little surprising as I left him so much room.
“It was an unnecessary accident and one which required another pit stop for front wing damage. The wing was snapped clean in two.”
As it turned out, Grosjean was still able to sneak into the top 10 after quickly passing Sergio Perez and opening up enough of a gap over the Force India driver to compensate for the penalty.
Lotus still earned a double points finish, therefore, with Pastor Maldonado seventh after managing to make a set of soft tyres last 53 of the race’s 70 laps.
“Finally, here we are in the points,” said the Venezuelan after breaking his duck for the season. “I think now we’ve started scoring there’s potential for this to be a great season for us as we have really good potential.
“It was a good race. I’m pleased for the team that we got both cars in the points; let’s continue like this."
Lotus are taking heart from their best performance of the season, with both cars featuring in the top 10 throughout the weekend and Grosjean confident they can maintain their form at coming races.
“We ran well in qualifying and if anything lost a little bit of pace in the race, which is something we’ll be studying ahead of our visit to Austria,” technical director Nick Chester added.
“All things considered, we have a great platform for the races ahead."