Lando Norris and Romain Grosjean have put the blame for their Bahrain qualifying incident firmly on the shoulders of Sebastian Vettel.
Grosjean has been handed a three-place grid penalty for blocking Norris during Q1 in Bahrain.
Both drivers would still ultimately make it into the top-ten shootout, but it’s the man sitting in P2 for Sunday’s race who is out of favour with both drivers.
Norris claimed that while Grosjean did block him, he had no choice after Vettel “screwed him over” by passing him into the final turn, causing the Haas driver to back right off to salvage his upcoming flying lap.
Lando wasn't happy, and neither were the stewards
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 30, 2019
“To be fair to him he only had three seconds for his team to tell him I was behind if they didn’t already,” said Norris of Grosjean when speaking to the media in Sakhir.
“It would have been very hard for him if he didn’t know to suddenly change his whole approach and giving up his whole lap.
“From what he said he didn’t know I was behind until I was pretty much about to crash into him.
“Vettel screwed him over, which is not a very nice thing to do in terms of us being racers, we try to respect each other.
“If you’ve got a car ahead you don’t just overtake them into the final corner, like Magnussen and Fernando last year in Monza, because you kind of screw both your qualifying laps.
“I think he did what he could when he knew. But he did impede me.
“If I didn’t get to do a second quali lap for whatever reason, that’s the reason I wouldn’t have been in Q2.”
After qualifying 8th, @RGrosjean has been issued with a three-place grid penalty – will start Sunday’s race from P11.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 30, 2019
Grosjean was also less than impressed with Vettel, claiming the German lacked “respect”. He has since apologised to Norris who will now start P9 after the Frenchman’s penalty.
“You s**t yourself, honestly, when you drive that slow and other cars are on a flying lap,” said Grosjean. “It’s just carnage.
“It’s probably something we need to look at in the future because it’s been raised in the past.
“I think it’s Vettel that made a mess here, he didn’t really respect the unwritten rule that you don’t overtake before the last corner.
“He passed the queue, came in front of me, so that gave me another three or four seconds to wait.
“We had not accounted for the fact that Vettel would do that, therefore we thought we were clear of Norris.
“That’s probably why they didn’t tell me that Norris was on a flying lap.
“We’re normally very good with traffic I think, but today obviously we got it wrong.”
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