Formula 1 News

Grosjean rues 'stupid mistake'

The Frenchman, slapped with a one-race ban over a first-corner crash in Belgium, was at it again at Suzuka on Sunday, driving into Webber seconds into the race spoiling the Aussie's chances.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yeongam, South Korea, Oct 10, 2012 (AFP) - Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is looking forward to making amends at this Sunday's Korean Grand Prix for what he admitted was "a stupid mistake" in Japan.

Grosjean, slapped with a one-race ban over a first-corner crash in Belgium, was at it again at Suzuka last Sunday, driving into Mark Webber seconds into the race and robbing the feisty Australian of the chance of a podium finish.

A furious Webber suggested the Frenchman might need another "holiday", or ban, labelled Grosjean's driving "embarrassing" and branded him "a first-lap nutcase".

Grosjean's team also warned the 26-year-old to curb his overly aggressive style.

Grosjean told the official Formula One website after the race in Suzuka that this weekend was an opportunity to put the affair behind him.

"Since Singapore (on September 23, after his ban), I've been trying to be really cautious at the starts and it's been all the more frustrating to be involved in an incident in Japan," he said.

"When approaching the first corner, I was watching Sergio (Perez) on my left to make sure there was no contact with him. I didn't expect such a big speed difference between me and Mark (Webber) braking into the corner, we collided and that was it.

"It was a stupid mistake. Mark came to see me after the race and was obviously not happy, but I apologised and we have to move on.

"I've sat down and looked at things again with the team, for sure it's still an area we need to improve. We're clearly focusing on this area for the next races."

Grosjean was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty in the pits in Japan and retired from the race towards the end when it became clear he was out of the points.

Red Bull's Webber had to scramble to rejoin the race and then made a pit stop for running repairs, returning at the back of the field before racing hard to finish ninth.

Three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart says he is eager to work with Grosjean and help prevent the accidents that are "jeopardising his career".

"I would love to help Romain because I think he has enormous potential," Stewart was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"Any more accidents could jeopardise his chances of driving for Lotus next season, let alone the very best teams."

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