Japanese GP: Webber slams 'first-lap nutcase' Grosjean

Mark Webber branded Romain Grosjean as the "first-lap nutcase" and his behaviour as 'embarrassing' after a collision caused by the Frenchman on the first lap of the Japanese Grand Prix cost the Red Bull driver a chance of a podium

Japanese GP: Webber slams 'first-lap nutcase' Grosjean

Grosjean hit third-placed Webber into Turn 2 and spun the Australian round, necessitating a pitstop for Webber, who rejoined at the back of the field.

The race stewards gave Grosjean a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for the incident.

Afterwards a livid Webber suggested to Sky television that the Frenchman might benefit from another enforced period on the sidelines, following his one-race ban at Monza after causing a first-corner accident in Belgium.

"I haven't obviously seen what happened at the start but the guys confirmed that it was the first-lap nutcase again Grosjean," he said.

"The rest of us are trying to fight for some decent results each weekend but he is trying to get to the third corner as fast as he can at every race.

"It makes it frustrating because a few big guys probably suffered from that and maybe he needs another holiday.

"He needs to have a look at himself, it was completely his fault. How many mistakes can you make, how many times can you make the same error? First-lap incidents... yeah... it's quite embarrassing at this level for him."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added that Grosjean's Lotus team might have to consider how to deal with the recurring first-corner incidents.

"I think the most concerning thing is when it is repeat incidents," he said. "If you make mistakes that's fine, but the key thing is to learn from them.

"He's hosing away points for his team, they are fighting in the constructors' championship and I would be surprised if they were too impressed by that. Seven incidents this year is more than enough, Mark was a victim of the action today and that cost him at least a podium."

Grosjean for his part admitted that the incident was a "stupid crash".

"I was trying to avoid making any contact, but it didn't work," he added.

Webber recovered to finish ninth after a strong drive through the field.

"We were on a one-stop strategy which is not exactly stimulating around here," he said. "We got something from it, I kept pushing, I didn't give up.

"To finish eight seconds behind fifth place considering I was reversing away from the fence [on lap one], and the safety car was in before I got back on to the back of the group. We ticked all of the worst boxes again and maybe I need to have a few whiskeys and get some luck that way.

"But I will come back in Korea and just keep doing what I am doing."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Author Simon Strang
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