Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean says he has “no regrets” over the manner of his defensive driving during the British Grand Prix.
Grosjean rose to fifth place as Haas kept him out when the Safety Car was deployed following Daniil Kvyat’s crash, leaving him vulnerable to faster rivals on fresher tyres.
Grosjean was given a black and white flag for moving under braking while battling Carlos Sainz Jr. and was then warned for his actions while preserving his position against Daniel Ricciardo.
The Franco-Swiss driver eventually dropped out of contention for points when he made his off-set pit stop, coming home 16th, but later backed his approach in spite of criticism from rivals.
“I think in both cases I moved a little bit late but I always left a car width, so they want to clarify the fact that we cannot move that late, which I agree with, but there were no real rules beforehand and Max Verstappen used it a lot during his racing so I thought why can I not take advantage of that,” he said.
“It’s not every day we’re running sixth or seventh in a race and I had to give everything I could to defend.
“Looking at them, I got a bit caught out by the delta speed in my mirrors, both of my mirrors twisted down at the beginning of the race so I couldn’t really see much in them.
“I agree that I moved a little bit late but I also always left more than a car width. So I spoke with Daniel and he was like ‘Yes, it’s a bit marginal, not too bad’, Sainz was complaining a lot on the radio from what I heard, but he could pass, there was a car width and I’ve got to do my race.
“If there’s a clarification and we can’t move that late then I’ll take that into account, but to that point I used the limit – yes I agree – but I was trying to defend as hard as I could.”
Grosjean accepted his driving was on edge but asserted it was fully within what has previously been allowed by the Race Director.
“I think a few years ago we really wanted to put a rule in place that you can’t move under braking, following some of Max’s defending, but there weren’t any rules put in action,” he said.
“Therefore I pushed the limit a bit, got a warning, but I don’t regret anything. I tried to do the best I can.
“We tried a different strategy, I gave it 100 per cent from the beginning to the end, I’m proud of my race and if there’s a clarification and we need to move early and so on then I will of course do so accordingly.
“But I don’t think there were any clear… Driving dangerously? Yes, but you can argue that I wasn’t driving dangerously because I was always leaving a car’s width, so there was always the room for the other car to go next to me.
“I think a bit of a clarification on that would be nice, but also we don’t want to push ‘let them race’ away from Formula 1 because we want to have fights and be pushing hard.”