“You crashed into Buemi and you took my race!” said Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler driver Lucas di Grassi furiously as he first encountered Envision Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns moments after the Sanya ePrix in China on Saturday.
“You crashed together and you took me out of the race – I hope you get a penalty,” moaned the Brazilian.
Just minutes from the end of the race, a three-car shunt between Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi, Frijns and di Grassi ended the former champ’s race, taking with it his chances of a critical sixth-place finish.
“It’s only knocked me back three places [in the standings] but it meant I lost eight points,” said di Grassi.
“I don’t care who’s fault it is – I think it’s Robin and Buemi’s fault – they crashed into each other and they crashed into me. I feel sh*t. Next time, I’ll get away from Robin. There was nothing I could do to avoid that.”
Quick to defend himself, Frijns hit back at the Brazilian. “How can I crash into Buemi if he’s behind me? It wasn’t my fault! You should be honest with yourself and say that! Buemi hit me end of f*cking story.”
“I closed the door on Buemi, braked quite early to make the corner and then I got a huge hit from behind, my wheels got sent into the air and I hit…I don’t know I could have missed the contact. I don’t see how I could be blamed for this.”
With time to consider the footage, the FIA – motorsport’s governing body – penalised Buemi, handing the Swiss driver a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision, which sees him plummet to ninth place in the race results.
For di Grassi, what could have been a championship-altering sixth-place finish, resulted in him not finishing the race, leaving Sanya with no points.