Max Verstappen has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix after being found to be at fault for the clash with Romain Grosjean during the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver appeared to misjudge an overtaking manoeuvre on the Lotus F1 Team driver into Saint Devote near the end of the race, running into Grosjean’s rear wheel before careering into the tyre barrier.
The incident also cost Grosjean the chance of scoring points for a fourth consecutive race, and although he was able to keep going he could only finish twelfth having been battling Verstappen for tenth.
Despite the guilt being laid in Verstappen’s lap by the stewards, the Dutch teenager believes that Grosjean braked earlier than he had previously that ultimately surprised him and caused the accident.
“I braked in the same spot like the lap before but he clearly braked 10-15 metres earlier,” said Verstappen. “When it is that close, you have no room. He caught me by surprise.
“I realised at the moment he braked, but by then it is too late because you don’t expect someone to brake that early.
“It was not even a move. I tried to avoid him, maybe it looked like an overtake but he braked way earlier than the lap before. The whole race you are braking within five metres.”
Verstappen emerged unhurt from the incident, but will be demoted five spots on the grid in Montreal, and has incurred his first two penalty points in his short Formula 1 career.