George Russell insists Romain Grosjean is to blame for their crash in Singapore, adding that it was a “shame” that only his race was ruined.
Grosjean tried to go around the outside of Russell at the exit of Turn 8 as the pair battled over seventeenth place.
However, Grosjean’s right-front tyre hit the left-rear of Russell’s Williams, causing the Brit to smash into the wall for his first DNF in Formula 1.
“I shouldn’t be surprised” said Russell over team radio after the crash, while his frustration grew further after the race with Grosjean, who continued and finished P11, insisting that he wasn’t to blame for the crash.
“He said I left him no room and that he was in the wall before he hit me. And I just said, well, that’s absolutely not the case, because I had the last hour to be able to watch the video,” Russell told reporters at the Marina Bay Circuit.
“It’s a shame that it just ruined my race and not his too. So that’s probably why he doesn’t feel like he was in the wrong. At the end of the day, if the exact same incident were to happen again, there is nothing I would do different.”
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Russell didn’t blame Grosjean for attempting the move into Turn 8, but couldn’t understand what he was trying to do after that effort had failed.
“Romain had his right to lunge it down the inside at the apex of the corner, we were side by side, but I had the inside momentum and come mid-exit phase I was well ahead, half a car’s length to three quarters of it ahead of him,” said the Brit.
“And by that point, the guy on the inside has got the right to take the racing line, and it’s the guy-on-the-outside’s job to concede the corner.
“And I don’t really know what he was trying to do, because even if he committed a bit more he still wouldn’t have been able to overtake.”
The pair were summoned by the stewards as part of their investigation into the incident but later cleared, and Grosjean told reporters that he wanted to see more footage of the crash.
“We were side by side and then George went on throttle early and I was on the left so I didn’t have much room to go more to the left, obviously there’s a wall there,” he explained.
“I just need to see footage. What I think is that he had a moment mid-corner with his rear and touched my front, and then sent him the other way around.
“It’s bloody difficult to overtake in that circuit and when you know there’s a car on entry phase next to you, you know it’s going to do the corner on the outside, so I’ve had the occasion with a few other guys and it’s gone okay.
“I need to see the footage, obviously George is not super happy, but I don’t think I had much more room to go any more on the left.”