Max Verstappen will serve a five-place grid penalty at the next Formula 1 Grand Prix in Canada after the FIA Stewards ruled that the Toro Rosso driver was guilty of causing an avoidable accident when he collided with Romain Grosjean’s Lotus during Sunday’s race in Monaco.

Battling over tenth place, the Dutch teenager his the rear of the Lotus E23 Hybrid under braking for the Sainte Devote corner, ripping the left-front wheel off his STR10 before ploughing at unabated speed into the barriers at the outside of the corner.

“The lap before I braked on the same spot as when I crashed,” Verstappen said immediately following the accident, placing the blame at Grosjean’s feet.

“But you could see that when I braked, the car ahead braked early, and when you are going at that speed and are quite close to each other, you can’t do anything. You don’t expect them to brake early.”

“I didn’t see much of the accident with Verstappen, just his car flying past me in the air! Overtaking in Monaco is difficult and I think he gained that bit of experience today,” Grosjean retorted.

“It’s good to know he’s okay, as it was a bit dangerous for both of us, and it cost us what would have been a hard-earned point. Until then my race had been going pretty well when you consider where we started. The car felt good and the strategy was working well. After the accident, I turned around which established all four wheels were there, then looked in the mirrors to see if the rear wing was still there too, then got on with my race.”

Having investigated the incident post-race, including a review of onboard telemetry and video footage, the panel ruled that Verstappen was at fault. They also handed him two penalty points to his FIA Superlicense.

Image via XPB Images

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Geoff Burke

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