Grosjean Pleased with Better than Expected Monaco Result, but Questions Penalty

by Paul Hensby

Romain Grosjean took a point home from the Monaco Grand Prix, with the tenth place finish a better result than he was expecting having started down in thirteenth position.

The Haas F1 Team racer finished ninth on the road but was penalised by the stewards for crossing the pit exit line after his one and only stop, with the five seconds added to his time seeing him fall behind Renault F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo in the final result by just 0.140 seconds.

Grosjean was the last driver in the field to make his first stop, with the Frenchman waiting until lap fifty-one to hit pit lane, but the gamble on the late stop was not enough to see him jump ahead of the likes of Carlos Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon, all of whom he felt he had better pace than in the closing laps.

The gamble to pit late ensured he jumped ahead of the drivers who gambled on an early stop behind the safety car period, including Ricciardo and his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

Ultimately, Grosjean felt the disappointing Qualifying result on Saturday, where he was blocked by Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly during Q2, left him out of position and with too much work to do to break into the higher reaches of the top ten, a position he feels the VF-19 deserved.

“It’s a better result than we were expecting – that’s for sure,” said Grosjean.  “It’s been a good race. We tried a different strategy. I think the Toro Rosso of Albon stayed out a bit too long in front of us, and by the time we cleared, our tyres were well worn.

“We did our best, we tried. It’s a shame I couldn’t end up in front of Sainz, because I think I’d have had much more pace at that time of the race.

“Then I got the penalty at the end. I’ll look at the footage. It’s close, I still think there’s a piece of my wheel touching the line, but I got the penalty. All-in-all though, it was yesterday that cost us good points today.”

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