Romain Grosjean has hailed Max Verstappen’s “invincible” drive at the Canadian Grand Prix, but didn’t have the same complimentary words for Sergio Perez.
It was a weekend of very contrasting fortunes for Red Bull. Verstappen claimed pole position, and went on to take his sixth win of the 2022 season, extending his lead at the top of the championship standings in the process.
Meanwhile, Perez seemed to struggle more in the mixed conditions, and crashed out of Saturday’s qualifying session.
His race on Sunday only lasted for eight laps before he was forced to pull off the track with a mechanical issue, later identified as a problem with the gearbox.
Grosjean: Verstappen did an amazing job
Grosjean has praised Verstappen for resisting the pressure from Carlos Sainz in the latter stages of the race, as well as putting in a strong performance throughout the rest of the weekend.
“Max was invincible this weekend,” Grosjean said in a Canada race debrief video on his YouTube channel.
“Max avoided the rain, the problems, the mistakes, the Safety Car. He had the race under control.
“He was very impressive over the last 10 laps with Carlos Sainz behind, because the DRS [Drag Reduction System] is so powerful in Canada.
“He couldn’t pull away, but he did an amazing job. Those last few laps were very impressive – no mistakes made, absolutely pushing the car to the limit lap after lap, so that was beautiful to see.
“And I must say, it was perfect.”
Perez “not fast” in the wet, says Grosjean
This was quite a contrast to Perez, who, Grosjean says, had the opposite kind of weekend.
“On the contrary, Perez – for the Drivers’ Championship – had a bit of a difficult weekend,” the former F1 driver commented.
“Not fast [on] Friday, not fast in the wet, crashed in qualifying.
“I suspect the gearbox issue in the race is related to qualifying, because the nose of the Red Bull was stuck on that barrier, and when he pulled reverse and dropped the clutch, that must have put some high torque under the gearbox in reverse.
“Gearboxes in Formula 1 do have to have a reverse – that’s the regulation – but as much as you can avoid using it, avoid it. It’s really not made to be going rearwards.”
After coming away with no points in Montreal, Perez is now only three points ahead of Charles Leclerc in P2 of the World Championship standings.