APRIL 14, 2017
Grosjean would not let Alonso skip Monaco
Romain Grosjean says he is surprised Fernando Alonso has decided to skip F1's prestigious Monaco grand prix.
The Spaniard and McLaren-Honda shocked the racing world this week by announcing that they will tackle the fabled Indy 500 next month, even though it clashes with Monaco.
"The Indy 500 is a great race, but it's not necessarily a race that interests me," Haas driver Grosjean told France's RMC in Bahrain.
"When you're 100pc involved in a team, I don't want to miss a grand prix, especially Monaco where so much can happen and you don't necessarily need a good engine," the Frenchman added.
"So I'm pretty surprised. It's good if that's what he wants to do but honestly I'm surprised that it's happening," said Grosjean.
Alonso admitted on Thursday that the news has been made possible only by McLaren's new executive Zak Brown, as predecessor Ron Dennis would not have allowed it.
Grosjean admitted: "If I was a team boss one day, no, I would not let him do it."
However, Nico Hulkenberg contested the fabled Le Mans race two years ago while an active F1 driver.
The German said in Bahrain: "My case was completely different. I would never miss a race in formula one, as Fernando will.
"Especially Monaco," Hulkenberg added. "Fernando can do whatever he wants, it's his business, but I'm surprised by the situation -- like everyone else."
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said the safety factor might put him off trying the Indy 500 in future, but conceded that Alonso is in an "unique situation" with his undoubted talent amid McLaren-Honda's performance crisis.
"I think he finds himself in a frustrating situation, so it's possible that in his place I would have taken the opportunity if it came up," he said.