Vergne handed penalty for Grosjean contact

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne has been demoted to 10th in the US Grand Prix results after a post-race penalty for late contact with Romain Grosjean.

The pair made side-to-side contact on lap 51 of 56 when Vergne dived to the inside of his fellow Frenchman at Turn 1.

Grosjean lost multiple positions as he was bundled over the exit kerb and eventually finished out of the points in 11th.

Vergne lost ninth to Grosjean’s team-mate Pastor Maldonado on the final lap but, with Maldonado having a five-second penalty of his own for speeding under the Safety Car, had inherited the position back.

“The driver of car 25 (Vergne) is considered to be predominantly at fault for the contact with car 8 (Grosjean) in turn 1 and the consequent forcing of car 8 off the track,” read a stewards statement post-race confirming a five-second penalty for Vergne.

Vergne, who is fighting for his Formula 1 future, said he had been relishing the late-race battle.

“I saw the opportunity to overtake Romain and I decided to go for it,” he said.

“When he closed the door it was just too late. At the end, this is racing and you have to fight as much as you can.

“I like fighting, so it was good fun.”

Grosjean had responded to the incident with a “what was that?” exclamation on his team radio before continuing to show his disapproval post-race via social media.

Force India driver Sergio Perez also felt the wrath of the stewards post-race as he was dealt a seven-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlago.

A botched overtake on Adrian Sutil saw the Mexican make contact with the back of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari before plowing into the Sauber driver, taking himself and Sutil out of the race.

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