Max Verstappen says he was “caught by surprise” when Romain Grosjean braked earlier than he expected, resulting in the Dutchman hitting the rear of the Lotus.
With just a handful of laps remaining, Verstappen came up behind the Frenchman and had tried several times before to find a way past. As they approached Sainte Devote, Verstappen hit the rear of Grosjean and ended up in the barriers at high-speed.
The 17-year-old claims he never expected Grosjean to brake so early, adding that he couldn’t avoid contact because he was so close at the time.
“It wasn’t really a move in my view because the lap before I braked already on the same spot as where I crashed, but you could see when I crashed the car in front of me just really braked earlier,” he told reporters.
“If you are going that speed and you are quite close to each other you can’t do anything, you don’t expect them to brake there. I tried to avoid it, really it caught me by surprise.”
The incident happened as he chased down tenth place, having earlier dropped out of the points positions when a slow stop delayed him for some 20 seconds.
“We had to overtake [Pastor] Maldonado and I lost some seconds to [Sergio] Perez but I closed that up and even compared to the guys in front I was showing great pace.
“Then we had a little fuss in the pit stops, I lost 20 seconds there. And then it’s very hard at Monaco to get that back. So we pitted again for another super-soft set and from there on was just flying.”