Romain Grosjean says his aggressive defence whilst battling Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo in Sunday’s British Grand Prix was because there is “no real rules” in Formula 1 preventing late blocks.
Grosjean was the only driver to run a long first stint having not pitted under the safety car, as Haas attempted to roll the dice on strategy.
The Frenchman rose to as high as fifth place when he came under attack from quicker cars behind. McLaren’s Sainz labelled Grosjean’s late manoeuvre, when he tried to gain a position approaching Stowe, as “very dangerous”.
In a similar incident later in the race, Grosjean moved left to try and block Ricciardo’s momentum along the Wellington straight, although on this occasion the Renault driver managed to avoid contact and move ahead into Brooklands.
The stewards showed Grosjean the black-and-white flag as a warning for his on-track behaviour, which he later defended and argued Max Verstappen wasn’t penalised in previous years for similar driving standards.
“In both cases I moved a little bit late but I always left a car width,” said Grosjean, as quoted by the-race. “They [the stewards] want to clarify the fact that we cannot move that late, which I agree with but there were no real rules beforehand.
“Max Verstappen used it a lot during his racing, so I thought ‘why not take advantage of that?’ because it’s not every day that we’re running sixth or seventh in the race and I had to give everything that I could to defend.
“Looking at them, I got a bit caught by the delta speed and both of my mirrors were twisted down at the beginning of the race, so I couldn’t really see much in them.
“If there’s a clarification and we can’t move that late, I’ll take that into account. But to that point I used the limit, but I was trying to defend as hard as I could.”
Grosjean revealed drivers have discussed introducing a rule in relation to moving under braking but nothing has been formally approved.
Although he insisted he has no regrets over his aggression, Grosjean admitted clarification from the FIA on what is and isn’t acceptable in racing situations would be a good solution to the issue.
“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 put in action and therefore I pushed the limit and got a warning, but I don’t regret anything,” Grosjean said.
“If there is a clarification that we need to move early I will, of course, do accordingly but to that point.
“You can argue that I wasn’t driving dangerously because I was always leaving a car width, there was always the room for the other car to go next to me.
“A bit of a clarification would be nice, but also we don’t want to push the ‘let them race’ [approach] away from Formula 1, because we want to have fights.”