HEADING FOR DISASTER: Toro Rosso's driver Max Verstappen (left) and McLaren Honda's Jenson Button up close and personal at the start of the 2015 Monaco F1 GP. Verstappen eventually crashed. Image: AFP / Philippe Desmazes
LONDON, England - Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, 17, will have a five-place grid penalty for June's Canadian Formula 1 GP for causing a collision that brought out the pace car and cost Lewis Hamilton his win at Monaco on Sunday.
The Toro Rosso driver clipped the rear of Romain Grosjean's Lotus at the Sainte Devote corner while battling for 10th. The impact ripped off a front wheel of his car; steering lost, he hurtled on and into the cushioned crash barrier.
He was not badly hurt.
'CAUGHT BY SURPRISE
Race stewards ruled that the rookie caused the collision and imposed the grid penalty and two penalty points. Verstappen, however, insisted Frenchman Grosjean was at fault. He explained: "It wasn't really a move. The lap before I braked on exactly the same spot as I did on the crash lap but clearly you could see Grosjean in front of me braked 10 to 15m earlier than on the previous lap.
"I was caught by surprise - normally nobody does that," he added. "I had nowhere to go. Maybe it looked like an overtake but I was just trying to avoid him.
"If it was my own mistake, I would tell you I misjudged it - but I don't feel like that."
Already the youngest driver to race and score points in F1 - he's the son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen - had qualified ninth and had started the day hoping for a strong finish.
VIDEO: Watch the crash at Monaco
After being slowed by a long pit stop as the crew struggled with the rear tyres the youngster showed his intelligence by sticking close behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pass cars in his slipstream after being lapped.
'QUITE ALL RIGHT'
Grosjean, however, was wise to the trick and let Vettel through while blocking Verstappen, who tailed him closely before the biggest crash of his career.
"At the moment I am quite all right, still a little bit stiff in my arms but for sure tomorrow will be worse," he said on Monday. "I had some little crashes but this was by far the biggest one."
The pace-car interlude led to Hamilton pitting unnecessarily and losing the race lead to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 series.