Grosjean given 20-second penalty but keeps sixth

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean has been handed a 20-second time penalty for his collision with Jenson Button during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Grosjean collided with Button at turn six while overtaking the McLaren driver on the inside.

He finished the race in sixth place, 21.5 seconds ahead of seventh-placed Button, so the penalty has no effect on his finishing position.

The stewards noted: “The driver of car eight [Grosjean] admitted that he thought he had fully passed car five [Button] when he obviously had not.”

“He proceeded to move over to the left to rejoin the racing line whilst car five was still alongside.”

Grosjean accepted responsibility for the incident: “With Jenson I was a bit too much on the left. I think the track goes narrow and I think it was wider than that. I want to apologise and we’re fortunate that none of us got anything so that was good.”

Button said: “I think it’s pretty straightforward. I couldn’t go any more left. That’s it really.”

“Unless I’m on the grass, which is obviously not a place I want to me when I’m breaking for a corner, he had no way of not hitting me. He obviously didn’t realise how narrow the circuit is at that corner.”

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Grosjean given 20-second penalty but keeps sixth”

  1. Good. You can’t argue that he didn’t deserve this one but I felt that the pass on Massa was incredible. I mean it’s a blind corner and passing someone around the outside is special. Rules are rules I guess but it’s not like the one involving Vettel in Hockenheim last year when they were doing 60 kph out of the hairpin :)

  2. Racing incident, pass was made. Can’t keep penalizing him for previous infractions just because.

    1. agree 100%

    2. My thoughts exactly.

    3. Well firstly he acknowledged responsibility and secondly, he cut the chicane which Button did not AND kept the place. He should have at least handed back the place! He gained that much at least.

      1. There was no way to hand it back. Button went straight into the pits.

        1. fair enough point.

  3. “With Jenson I was a bit too much on the left. I think the track goes narrow and I think it was wider than that. I want to apologise and we’re fortunate that none of us got anything so that was good.”

    Mature response. Now, he needs to mature his overtaking a little more. He has shown amazing pace this weekend, but incidents like this and the one with Massa simply cost too much and were very much avoidable.

    20 seconds and a drive-through is a little much, though.

    1. I think the Button overtake penalty was fair enough – a bit harsh, but it was Grosjean’s miscalculation which caused the contact.

      The Massa overtake penalty looked rather harsh. Grosjean was no further off the track that Vettel was (twice) on lap 19 – and Grosjean was arguably forced to leave the track by Massa, whereas Vettel had no such excuse.

      1. My thoughts exactly…

      2. Totally my thoughts

      3. I disagree. When he made that move I couldn’t believe how the commentators were raving about it. To me it clearly looked clumsy and he never would have made it out of that corner at that speed if he’d kept it on the black stuff

  4. I didn’t think Grosjean was guilty of either penalty he received today…
    He would have come in second easily.

    1. I find it baffling how you don’t put him at fault for the Button incident.
      But the punishment for the Massa incident was uncalled for.

      1. I agree with @cg22me , and the stewards on this one. He basically ran Button out of road, that’s the definition of causing an avoidable accident. A drive-through is also the correct response, even if in the end it made no difference. My only issue is they should have given this during the race, it was a pretty obvious offence.

  5. Alonso was found to use DRS 3 times when the car in front was more than a second ahead. JA just tweeted it…

    1. Ferrari International Assistance…

  6. I thought both penalties were too harsh! THe button one , while watching it all 4 of us were sure it was butto’s fault, in retrospect it might have been grosjean’s. but not worth a drive through.

    The massa one was simply a brilliant overtake!

    1. How can it be Button’s fault if he was already on the grass? Strange way of thinking in my opinion.

    2. @melkurion, I agree about the penalties being too harsh.

      Though how all of you could have seen Button being at fault, I can’t understand, as it felt fairly obvious to me. He was being overtaken and a third of his left tyres were already off the track, when Grosjean went further left, causing the contact. There’s nothing Button could’ve done, except leave the paved track entirely and that can hardly be expected of him ;)

      1. Yet when Massa pushed Grosjean off the track that was also Grosjeans fault…

        1. Massa didn’t push Grosjean wide at all. Still, Grosjean shouldn’t have been penalised for it.

        2. @cyclonetog I think it was less about Massa pushing Grosjean off the track and more about Grosjean benefiting/overtaking while outside of the track limits.

          I’ve only seen Grosjean’s on-board camera on that incident, so there was likely something I didn’t notice. But I got the impression, that Grosjean could have kept his left two tyres on the track or at least on the white line if he wanted to. I doubt that would have gained him a position though, as taking the wider line meant taking more speed through the corner and that’s what counted in the overtake maneuver.

          1. The onboard shows Massas endplate right next to Grosjeans LF tyre, if he’d gone any further left he’d be accused of causing a collision.

            Poor guy can’t do anything right and the other drivers are taking advantage of it, like Vettel at the start.

        3. Massa has now publicly stated that Grosjean’s penalty was wrong bcs he wasn’t of the track with four wheels

  7. Penalty for the collision with Jenson, yes, he was to blame and he very maturly admitted that. Penalty for the overtaking on Massa I just don’t understand. He made the move and it was clear that if he wasn’t going right that way, they would have collided badly. Also, stewards stated he left the track completely, which just wasn’t the case.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      28th July 2013, 20:32

      Also, he didn’t have much space left by Massa.

  8. They need to clarify this ‘ 4 wheels over the line’….. Vettel had all wheels of the track on numerous occasions !!! If RG hadn’t gone over the line he would have penalised for causing an accident no doubt….bit of discretion surely.. !!!!!!!! C’mon….

  9. I think the two incidents accounted for a drive-through between them but not each individually. It makes no difference in the end though so it’s kind of irrelevant.

  10. Just noticed, watching the highlights, that Vettel left the track with all four wheels twice while defending against Grosjean.

    And did so fairly obviously.

    1. On lap 19, btw.

    2. Yep, Mr Vettel has the right to do such things. I remember him overtaking JB while being of the track in Melbourne as well.

      1. Vettel got penalized last year for such overtake and lost 3 positions in Germany. Also Grojsean had to return position earlier this season, i think, to escape penalty. And the stewards are pretty consistent here, they penalize when drivers leave the track during overtaking, and leave them alone for the rest of the race. (so currently according to the stewards you gain advantage only if you overtake and gain position with all 4 wheels out of the track). Is this right or wrong i don’t know but it’s the same for every driver.

  11. that’s exactly the way the stewards discourage the drivers from overtakes. today maybe it was only pure luck that no car was damaged heavily and everybody could continue their race with an intact car, or with only minor damageg. of course it should not matter wether you turn the track into a junk yard or cause only a fender bender, if you manouver dangerously, but it wasn’t the case this time.

    Grosjean has become more mature this year, and drove really fast this weekend. obviously there are rules that in certain conditions certain penalities have to be hand out, and in some cases the stewards have the right to consider according the “big picture”. I’m not really interested how todays penalities were decided, as it’s a sure thing the FIA can defend themselves, they did everything according to the book. i can see the stewards point, Grosjean might have gone beyond the limits. but I do believe that both cases it should have been more than enough to order Grosejan simply letting Massa and Button by. noone gains advantage, noone is forced out of the race, everything could continue, and if Grosjean is fast enough, he could try another overtake in the next lap.

    but no, we have to penalize one of those drivers that are pushing the limits of the track, trying to overtake in palces noone else dares, and then watching him lapping behind a very slow Ferrari for the rest of the race in frustration. ridiculous…

    1. Can you imagine what it would have been like if today’s stewards were there for the 1979 French GP?

      1. I don’t even want to imagine that… it would mean one less legend…

  12. Right penalty in my opinion: moving around in the breaking areas is the worst kind of driving, and can lead to some serious consequences.

  13. Unneccessary penalties, neither “incident” was worth any sort of punishment

    1. 1. Grosjean admitted fault.
      2. Causing avoidable contact is most certainly punishable, since the contact was… wait for it… AVOIDABLE!

  14. You’d think the rooms full of strategists at McLaren would have tried to get JB within 20 seconds of Grosjean at the finish – they knew he was under investigation and what the likely penalty would be.

    1. But Grosjean was chasing down Alonso, so Alonso would have been pushing. Don’t forget that the McLaren is slower than both of these cars.

  15. The penalty is fair when you remember that the regulations were changed last year & now say that if another driver has a significant part of his car alongside you, You have to leave him at least a car’s width of room.

    Regardless of the contact, Grosjean didn’t leave Button room while Button was still alongside & therefore the penalty was fair.

    As for the overtake on Massa, I gather they were warned about overtaking with wheel off the track at turn 4 in the drivers briefing Pre-race, If true then that penalty is harsh but probably ultimately fair if they were warned about it beforehand.

  16. I really do not understand this penalty even if it didn’t affect the finishing order. Alonso drove over the top of Raikkonen’s front wing in Japan last year, and what happened then? Both were arguably at fault for that incident, and the story remains the same here. Grosjean didn’t see him, but Button could have braked earlier as well.

  17. I really do not understand this penalty even if it didn’t affect the finishing order. Alonso drove over the top of Raikkonen’s front wing in Japan last year, and what happened then? No one received a penalty because it ultimately was a racing incident. Both were arguably at fault for that incident, and the story remains the same here. Grosjean didn’t see him, but Button could have braked earlier as well. Talk about consistency in dealing penalties.

  18. Grosjeans error was in principle the same as the one that earned him a suspension. He kept moving over oblivioous to the vector of the other car. He somehow cannot learn the track or grasp all relevant details of the situation. I think he suffers from hypervigilance. He is not stupid. Hes just under so much pressure he cant focus. Just like with Hamilton in 2011. He has to learn to get his head back in it.

  19. I have stopped “getting my knickers in a knot” over these various racing infringements, as i know that whatever he does Herr Finger will not be penalised.

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