Romain Grosjean has blamed an accidental flip of a switch on his steering wheel for his bizarre crash during a Safety Car period at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Grosjean was weaving his car — done to ensure tyres stay up at an optimum temperature — while the race was neutralised in the closing stages when he lost control of his car and ended up in the wall on the run down to Turn 15. The Frenchman had been running sixth and in a good position to score a strong result after starting from the back of the grid.
“This hurts a lot and I want to apologise to the team,” said a gutted Grosjean. “We were in the middle of an amazing race, starting last and running P6. Seeing [Sergio] Perez on the podium, knowing I was fighting with him, is very painful for all of us. It was going very well.
“There was a lot of wind, the car was going left and right, pushing then not pushing. I was warming up my tyres and bumped into a switch that I’d moved by two positions. When I touched the brakes, the brake balance was locked rearward – it just locked the rear wheels and I spun.”
Team boss Guenther Steiner is sure the team would have converted Grosjean’s track position into a strong result.
When asked if the crash cost Haas a podium, Steiner said: “I am not thinking like that, I am thinking realistically and we could have finished fifth or sixth,” he said. “If we finish sixth we are not crashing out its so you can never speculate with that one but for sure it could have been fifth or sixth.”