Lotus says Vettel ruined Grosjean's victory hopes in Hungary

Lotus believes that Romain Grosjean's Hungarian Grand Prix victory hopes were wrecked by Sebastian Vettel, rather than the drive-through penalty he received in the middle of the race

Lotus says Vettel ruined Grosjean's victory hopes in Hungary

Grosjean had been one of the pre-race favourites for victory at the Hungaroring, but he had a frustrating afternoon where his strategy was compromised by him being forced to run at Vettel's pace early on.

In the end, the team gambled on a tweaked strategy to try to leapfrog Vettel, but it went wrong when he lost more time behind Jenson Button and then earned a penalty for running off the track after overtaking Felipe Massa.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier thinks that the end result would have been different if Grosjean had been able to get in clear air early in the race.

"It could have been better, yes, but we were not expecting to get stuck behind Vettel at the beginning of the race, to be honest," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"After that, the chance for Romain to win was off."

Boullier said the short second stint for Grosjean was aimed at trying to do something different to overtake Vettel, but it did not work because Button delayed him afterwards.

"With the tyres we knew we had flexibility to change the stint length," he said.

"But unfortunately the pitstop was longer than expected and we got stuck behind Button."

Grosjean's chances were then effectively killed off when he was given a drive-through penalty for running off the track at Turn 4 after completing a spectacular overtaking move around the outside of Massa.

Boullier backed the suggestion from Massa that the drive-through was too harsh a penalty for what he had done.

"I think so," said Boullier. "But obviously we have to respect the rule and the decision of the stewards.

"It was a nice manoeuvre, and even Massa agreed it was a bit harsh.

"But you have fixed rules, and the rule is the rule."

shares
comments
Mercedes believes title battle wide open after Hamilton victory

Previous article

Mercedes believes title battle wide open after Hamilton victory

Next article

Red Bull says Mercedes was always a championship threat

Red Bull says Mercedes was always a championship threat
Load comments
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Plus

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

French Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Plus

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2021
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021