Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have regular discussions and insist their relationship is better than it looks from the outside after numerous clashes ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The pair made contact in Spain and then touched wheels on the opening lap at Silverstone, with the resulting punctures forcing both to retire. Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was livid at the second incident, which was then followed by another collision in German last weekend, but Grosjean says the two drivers get on well.
“I think the relationship, people could think it doesn’t look good but actually the relationship is really good,” Grosjean said. “We find each other once a week or so and sit down and look at what we can do better and just make sure that it’s not happening again.
“Honestly, the relationship is very good. I like working with Kevin and we work well together and we get on nice.”
Magnussen agrees, saying the incidents between the two on track do not give a fair representation of how they get on with each other.
“I think in the heat of the moment we are blaming each other on the radio but what people don’t see is that we get together between the races to talk it through and try and be constructive and move on in a constructive way,” Magnussen said. “Apart from those incidents on track I feel that we have a pretty good working relationship. Romain is a cool guy and we actually have a good time when we go to work, so it’s being blown out of proportion a little bit. I know you guys (media) love a bit of a conflict but it isn’t as bad as it looks.”
With a number of radio messages criticizing each other being broadcast from the two drivers in Germany, Magnussen adds it is natural that each thinks the other is to blame at the time of an incident.
“I think in the heat of the moment you always feel like you are in the right and then you analyze things after and see that it was probably more level and not as big a deal as it felt like on track. At the end of the day I don’t think it’s such a big deal.
“We will try everything we can to not have these issues again. I think it became a very big issue when we punctured each other at Silverstone. But apart from that, I think the end of the story is that we do respect each other and want to do the best for the team. That’s been laid out to us with some guidelines now that we are going to respect and carry on.”
Grosjean says the reactions from each driver are natural in a sporting situation, and thinks it’s something Formula 1 should continue broadcasting.
“I think on a football pitch you don’t have any microphones,” Grosjean added. “Even inside a football team between players they can say things when they are not happy with each other, and you are not saying that team is having any issues. In Formula 1, I think it is great that everything is broadcast but also it makes a story out of nothing.
“As I say our relationship is great — when you are driving at 300kph you are not going to say, ‘Oh please, I think I was in the right and he was in the wrong and would you mind if you would give me the position back please?’ You are just going to say, ‘F••k off and give us the position.’ So unless you want us to be very, very boring or remove the microphone from the helmet then it’s always going to happen.”