Within the closing laps of the Grand Prix of Alabama, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver was attempting to get round Scott McLaughlin’s Staff Penske whereas keeping off Grosjean.
Rahal was having to regulate his gasoline mileage having gone for a two-stop technique, whereas Grosjean’s Andretti Autosport crew had put him on a three-stopper, so his tyres had extra life.
On lap 87, Grosjean dived down the within of Rahal at Flip 5, the monitor’s main passing level.
Rahal took an out of doors line, however carried extra pace by means of the flip, and when Grosjean realised his cross had failed, his entrance wheels twice made contact with Rahal’s sidepod, as soon as on the entrance, as soon as on the again.
When Grosjean came to visit the radio to say that Rahal hit him on the exit, Rahal radioed to his crew saying, “This man’s a punk! He hit me on objective.”
Later, talking to NBC’s Kevin Lee, Rahal mentioned: “I feel it’s clear, watching the in-car digital camera, simply take a look at the angle of his head. I knew Romain was going to divebomb me. I’d already been warned that’s what he’s doing.”
As he watched the onboard footage from his personal automobile, Rahal added, “Look, we’re already straight, there. Why are you handing over to me?”
He went on: “I’m simply pissed off as a result of this isn’t the primary time. In St. Pete he hit all people he might hit. We come right here and he hit Rossi, hit Herta, hit me. Sooner or later we’ve acquired to wash up our act.”
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Picture by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Requested if Race Management ought to punish Grosjean, Rahal replied: “As one other driver within the sequence instructed me, you possibly can’t train an outdated canine new tips, and it’s type of been his popularity over his complete profession in Europe and we’re studying his popularity shortly right here.
“If Race Management doesn’t wish to do something, then they’re not going to do something however after we go and punt him, they higher not do something to me. Previously, I’ve been penalised for lots lower than that.”
Grosjean, who ultimately handed Rahal on the final lap when the RLL automobile ran out of gasoline, downplayed the incident.
Grosjean mentioned: “Ah yeah, we touched a few occasions but it surely was good racing. It was robust on the market. Barber is an excellent monitor however very exhausting to cross, particularly while you’re in a prepare. If the man forward of you doesn’t have anybody in entrance then he can strive a distinct line, however there we had been all in line so it was fairly difficult.”
On watching the footage, he mentioned: “So right here we contact a bit and right here we contact once more. It’s good racing, I assume. It’s IndyCar, wheel-to-wheel motion.”
Requested if Rahal’s accusation was right that he had intentionally bumped the RLL automobile, Grosjean chuckled and mentioned, “No no, it was simply exhausting racing. I used to be late on the brakes as he was, he had a bit extra grip on the skin line, I used to be a bit deep within the nook. But it surely was a delicate contact and it was OK.”