F1: Boullier Slams Perez, Defends Grosjean
Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier was in the unusual position on Sunday in Monaco of criticizing a rival for causing a collision while defending his own driver for doing the same after two separate incidents.
Boullier joined the growing chorus of critics of Sergio Perez after the Mexican hit the back of Kimi Raikkonen at the entry to the chicane, giving the Finn a puncture that ruined his race.
“I think he tried once,” said Boullier of Perez. “And obviously if you look at the video, he was attempting a very, very late braking, obviously misunderstanding the braking line of Kimi, so that was, I think, a little bit too much. He nearly crashed into his teammate in Bahrain, and it looks like we see he’s trying too often to be too aggressive, and to attempt something which is most of the time impossible to do.”
Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean was given a 10-place grid penalty for Montreal after hitting Daniel Ricciardo under braking for the chicane. Grosjean carried on for a couple of laps before retiring, but had he continued a little longer, he would have gotten a drive-through penalty, and his Canadian race would not have been affected.
Grosjean was quick in Monaco but had a huge crash at Ste Devote on Thursday, followed by a near repeat on Saturday morning. After getting out late in Q1, he lost out in Q2 when he was caught behind Ricciardo
“It’s always the same story, especially in Monaco,” said Boullier. “He had the pace, we could see it, and it’s even more frustrating because of that. Thursday’s accident didn’t help, but it happens.
“Obviously the rest of the story went worse on Saturday morning, building up his frustration. Ricciardo didn’t allow him to complete the Q2 like he should have done, and he ended up 13th on the grid.
“I think we just need to cool him down and have a proper discussion when we are back in the factory. It’s not a worry, he did a great job over the winter and fixed all the problems he had last year, so I think there’s some frustration sometimes when he knows he can be fast, and he just needs to build himself.
“He is fast and he can deliver some big results. He did it in Bahrain and he was on his way to do it in Barcelona, so it’s just using the momentum and making sure he’s back on track with the real expectations.”
Adam Cooper notched up his 28th season as a racing journalist in 2012. He has written about F1 for SPEED.com since 2005. Follow him on Twitter.