Manor Racing and Haas F1 Team have different opinions regarding the penalties given to Rio Haryanto after his pit lane collision with Romain Grosjean in practice three at the Australian Grand Prix.
In the session, the two cars were released almost simultaneously with Haryanto stuttering slightly as he pulled away before the contact with Grosjean. After a stewards investigation, they deemed the Manor driver to be at fault, giving him a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points.
In a statement released by the stewards they said, “The driver of car #88 left the team garage and did not pay attention to the approaching car which was in the fast lane”
Team principal for Haas, Gunther Steiner said the Indonesian was to blame.
“I wasn’t pleased with that,” said Steiner. “It was a mistake that shouldn’t happen and obviously the FIA gave them penalties.
“We should be above this. We didn’t do anything wrong. We try to keep our nose clean and then somebody else drives into us. It’s not very clever.”
Racing director for Manor Dave Ryan told Autosport that the penalty was “harsh” adding that Grosjean was not completely blameless.
“They have applied the penalty to the letter of the law and they haven’t actually taken into account what really happened,” Ryan said. “It was harsh on Rio.
“Rio was a bit hesitant getting out into the pitlane but he can’t see what is coming down the pitlane because of the angle of the car and the mirrors and Grosjean came down the pitlane pretty quick.
“He had the opportunity to stop and he didn’t. I don’t think Romain had to go quite as hard as he could. We could have certainly done a better job and it was one of those things which was a bit unnecessary for Rio to be penalised like he was.”