Up until Toro Rosso‘s rookie driver, 17-year old Max Verstappen, went flying into the protective barrier, the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix had been a fairly boring one.
After Verstappen’s crash, everything changed. The Virtual Safety Car turned into an actual Safety Car and Mercedes mistakenly called race leader Lewis Hamilton in for a tire change.
In case you don’t know what happened soon after, you can read about it in our race recap.
As for the crash itself, it looked scary, it really did. Verstappen clipped the wheel of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and flew nose-first into the barriers as everybody watching held their collective breaths.
Afterwards, Verstappen received a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Montreal, which he can’t really fight, seen as though it was pretty much his own fault.
With that in mind, Grosjean was all over the rookie, saying that he forgot his braking point, but Max argued that he got on the brakes in exactly the same spot he did the lap before and that Grosjean had started slowing down his Lotus too soon.
Furthermore, Verstappen was accused of trying to overtake at that moment, but we believe him when he said that he was just trying to avoid Grosjean at that point and that it took him by surprise.
Upon a careful analysis of where the braking point was at T1 (Sainte Devote), it’s fairly obvious that Verstappen didn’t get on the brakes soon enough, which means that Grosjean slowing down shouldn’t have caught him by surprise. Though it’s hard to tell if Grosjean hit his braking point just right or missed it by a few meters.
Even though arguing that a lack of experience may be the main culprit, we’ve seen this type of thing happen to much more experienced drivers. So Max shouldn’t feel too bad about it, besides, he got to walk away with no injuries, and that’s what matters most.