Renault racing director Frederic Vasseur has called out Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat for being overly aggressive and ruining Kevin Magnussen’s Monaco Grand Prix.
A lap down following an early electrical problem, Kvyat was attempting to unlap himself when he and Magnussen collided at Rascasse. Kvyat blamed Magnussen for not giving him enough room, the pair having touched at the Swimming Pool complex several corners earlier.
Stewards found Kvyat guilty of causing a collision, handing him a three-place grid penalty for the next grand prix in Canada in two weeks.
Vasseur was far from impressed with Kvyat’s driving, particularly as it caused damage that resulted in Magnussen’s subsequent accident at Mirabeau two laps later.
“Kevin asked us to switch early onto the intermediate, which was a good move,” Vasseur said of Renault’s bold strategy. “The problem then was he ended up behind [Pascal] Wehrlein, and we lost a lot of time behind him. He then had the crash with Kvyat, who was lapped, who was one or two laps behind, and who was [too] aggressive.
“It’s a shame because he destroyed Kevin’s race. He had nothing to do – nothing to win, nothing to lose – being two laps behind.
“The accident ended up destroying the floor. We changed the tires, restarted, but the floor was completely destroyed and this led to the second crash two laps later.”
Magnussen also feels Kvyat’s maneuver was over the top.
“We were the only ones to do it so early and it was the right decision,” he said of the early intermediate switch. “We were in a good position as a lot of people were still to pit and we gained a lot of places. Unfortunately, Kvyat just lost his mind and crashed into me and that was effectively the end of my race.
“We did continue and made an early change to slicks as we had nothing to lose, but ultimately I hit the wall and damaged the front wing. We were several laps down at that point and the car had been in the wars so it was safer to retire.”
Magnussen’s exit compounded Renault’s misery after Jolyon Palmer crashed at the start of lap eight (below), the first racing lap after seven behind the safety car due to the wet conditions. The rear of the RS16 snapped away from Palmer as he accelerated along the pit straight, catching the white paint of a pedestrian crossing.
“When two cars finish in the wall it’s a tough race,” Vasseur said. “Jo had a huge wheelspin on the straight. He was probably a bit too optimistic, I don’t know how he got the wheelspin on the white line, but there was nothing he could do.”