Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Interlagos, 2014

Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Interlagos, 2014Romain Grosjean will be relegated 20 places on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and will have to carry out further penalties during the race if he is unable to serve it in full.

The Lotus driver will use his sixth internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H this weekend. He therefore earned three grid penalties of ten, five and a further five places for the infractions, giving him a total grid penalty of 20 places.

The stewards also ruled that if Grosjean is unable to serve the entire penalty this weekend – which is certain as there are only 20 cars in the field – he will serve other penalties during the race instead as follows:

Remainder of grid penaltyRace penalty
1-5 placesFive second time penalty
6-10 placesTen second time penalty
11-20 placesDrive-through penalty
20 or more placesTen second stop-go penalty

2014 Abu Dhabi 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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74 comments on “Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty”

  1. That doesn’t seem very fair at all :(

    1. @zippyone double points, double grid drop penalties.

      1. Not exactly..Normally the penalty would carry on to the next round.. As this is the last race of the season, this is the only logical solution.

        1. Actually I don’t think it’s logical at all. The rules only stipulate that if the penalty cannot be applied in full, it carries over to “the driver’s next event”, period. They don’t stipulate that additional time penalties can be imposed in the last round.

          So logically, going by the rules, he’s starting from the back and any remaining places are either
          a) carried over to Australia, since that’s his next event
          b) null and void after the race, since the sporting regulations are labeled by year and so the rules for 2014 are not valid for 2015

          1. True! This is just FIA’s response to the boycott threat.

          2. I believe it is inferred that “the next event” means “in THIS Championship season”. As it ends Sunday, Australia is a new Championship, not the next event.

      2. @beejis60 haha, ok well that’s fair then :)

  2. So the best case scenario is probably a 5 place grid penalty and then a drive through?

  3. Worst timing for Romain :(

    1. @pezlo2013 I’d say brilliant timing now that the field is exactly 20 cars big… He can get pole and take it all at once.

      Mind you I think it’s incredibly ridiculous to have such a harsh penalty on engines and components… 20 places is just waaaaaaaay too much…

      1. @fer-no65 He’d still have a 5 second penalty. He could only drop 19 places from being fastest in qualifying…

        1. @enigma you’re right…

          They should start allowing drivers to start a race on position 25th or something… it’s a distance you have to cover anyway….

      2. @fer-no65

        No KIDDING! WAAAAYYYY too much of a penalty. And the rule is silly anyway. They’re assuming a linear relationship on cost and the number of engines. But because they spec it so harshly, the engine manufacturers must make them bullet proof! If they allowed them to race as many engines as they wanted, they’d be able to put the tolerances much lower and the cost for each engine would drop. The number of engines produced would go up and the cost could be spread across many more units.
        It would probably balance out in terms of overall cost for the teams and they could be running a fresh engine when they needed instead of trying to build a NASA spec engine every time.

        And the penalties hitting a driver, who takes the biggest hit in this scenario, is ridiculous because the driver has the least input on engine issues, specs, costs, maintenance, yada, yada, yada.

        It’s just silly. If they FIA really wants to control costs, they’d limit the number of elements on the wings to 2-3 on each side and put a limit on the surface area of those elements. The teams spend tens of millions of dollars “twiddling with bits of carbon fiber” as Luca liked to say. I’m NOT a Luca fan, but on that one, he had it right. And the biggest point is that it would cut all the Aero problems that prevent passing/racing.

        So in summary, lay off the silly engine penalties, cut front wing cost/complexity, and get better racing. Win/win/win. What’s the hold up?

        1. @daved If they allowed them to race as many engines as they wanted, they’d be able to put the tolerances much lower and the cost for each engine would drop.

          It really doesn’t work that way. If the penalties are not there, they’ll be cutting it fine too, they’d not relax anything.

          I don’t mind about the penalties being there it’s just that 20 places is way, way too much and doesn’t change much either.

          1. I can’t agree with you on that point. I started my career doing hardware design for the Los Angeles class attack submarines. We regularly spent 80-90% of the cost making the stupid things “mil-spec”. Getting stuff you could make work and just throw away if you needed a new one was SO much cheaper.
            Engines fail no matter what you do. But the extra work they have to put in to insure they’ll go for 4-5 races is just a huge cost issue.

  4. Bye bye Renault.

  5. Well at least there not as cruel as to carry over penalties to next season.

    I also expect to see a ten second stop and go.

    1. They’re*

      1. good for you :)

  6. i think that means he starts in Austin TX

    1. :D :D :D XD

    2. Haha. :)

      1. You mean the race which Lewis won when he was still at McLaren, right?

  7. Having got bored of penalising Mags for everything, it seems the stewards have found a new target to torment with penalties. Poor chap. Time for the drivers to uprise against the tyranny of the stewards. Anarchy.

    1. It was in the regulations, though. The stewards don’t really have much discretion in this case.

      If anything, I’m surprised I didn’t see more of this in the last few races to the majority of drivers on the grid.  

      1. it’s a testament to the knowledge and intelligence of the engineers – plus the extraordinary reliability of the new tech. i did see massa’s engine allowance showed he had only used 3 of one of the components – perhaps they over managed this one and were understressing the car?? surely, the optimum would be to arrive the final race on the 4th of 5th of each component (or given the double bubble farce, have a brand new power unit for this race alone).

        1. also, random thought – mercedes have killed it this year with reliability. makes me think back to 2003-2005 when they were atrocious.

      2. “It was in the regulations, though.”
        Nope look at MattDS’ comment above.

  8. Sums up Romain’s season.

  9. “we can not move him further down the grid so We will make him miss 2 flights going home as well”
    Unnamed FIA official.

    1. In other news, Maldonado has been given a lifetime pit lane start, to prevent any more Spa 2012s. But then the FIA realised they had the wrong Lotus, so punished the other one anyway.

  10. Lol, ‘wut’?

    Vettel had a complete PU change and ‘only’ had to start from the pitlane. This not even a complete change – I’m beginning to think this is an early April 1st joke…

    Was there a change in the regulations in the meantime since Austin?

    1. Why not have him drop on the grid for the season opener in 2015 as well, lol.

    2. yeah maybe cuz he missed qualy? this is bizzare

    3. I was thinking the same thing, it would be less of a penalty to start from the pitlane so Lotus might as well change the complete PU

    4. @atticus-2 @keithcollantine @hohum can somebody explain to me what the difference is between Seb’s case and this? It looks so hard to Romain to take this penalty. Can they do something like Seb / RB did to avoid such a harsh penalty?

      1. @omarr-pepper

        @jerseyf1 gave a quite plausible explanation.

      2. Nope ! Beats me.

        1. @hohum
          ICE TC MGU-K MGU-H ES CE

          This F1 is getting so hard to follow. Shall I get an engineering degree before getting this kind of rules?
          This is what I was thinking they were:
          ICE: What you put on your drink to keep it cool
          TC: The Argentinian version of GT races (called “turismo carretera” or “Highway Tourism” around these lands
          MGU-K: another way to call Kevin MaGnUssen
          MGU-H: Maybe some Kevin’s relative called Henry?
          ES: Spanish webpages final letters
          CE: Chief in the Executive… no wait

          Whatever, have a nice day.

      3. @omarr-pepper

        can somebody explain to me what the difference is between Seb’s case and this?

        Vettel changed his entire power unit, Grosjean didn’t as explained above. The rules are explained here.

        1. @keithcollantine, Proving that ( to the FIA. at least )
          “Less is More”

  11. Should have just retired the car from this last race to save money for the next season

    1. Might as well! Not like either car will score points.

  12. I wonder, if there were 40 grid slots and Romain had to start from 40th, would it even be on the start-finish straight?

    Also, is this a record for the biggest grid drop ever?

    1. @vrshank Hamilton was dropped from Pole to last in Spain two seasons ago wasn’t he?

      1. @xtml But Lewis was excluded from Qualifying for not providing a fuel sample.

        @vrshank This is the most I can remember, and frankly it’s getting ridiculous.

  13. So why doesn’t he just take a whole new unit and start from the pit lane? Isn’t that what Vettel did in Austin?

  14. Should have made him start from shower in his motorhome, without any wheels on the car, should have to fit them himself, oh and the car will be in the garage backwards.

  15. I think they’ve done this so that Grosjean can’t crash into Nico or Lewis

    1. As if you haven’t been watching F1 for two years. This is not 2012. You might want to ask the other Lotus.

  16. Well this just sums up the stupidity of the new rules F1 is becoming a farce

    1. Most other categories are now doing the same.

      Indycar now has penalty’s for engine changes & Nascar are implementing the same next year.

      The times of been able to freely change engines after every session & the waste you used to get of engine’s which were in the car for less than an hour & then never used again are thankfully over.

      1. Nascar has had penalties for engine changes for a long time now. If you change an engine in the cup series you start at the tail end of the field

  17. My first thought was why don’t Lotus replace everything and then get a pit lane start. Then I realised that maybe they have too many of some of their sixth parts (or even third or fourth) still unused (e.g. Energy Store and control electronics). In this case it seems like:

    (1) The penalty system isn’t quite right yet because his penalty seems to be worse than if he was on a sixth of all parts (i.e. complete sixth PU).

    (2) Have Lotus shot themselves in the foot by not using components at least once sooner to make sure they could do a complete 6th PU in this circumstance. Surely it’s possible to run all of the five available pieces by the last third of the season, even if just for a single practice session, so that the option of a complete 6th PU is available should it be preferable in terms of the penalty.

    1. I found the component update going into the final race and it looks like Romain was on 5 of all components so I don’t understand this decision now. Surely the components are available and the additional cost isn’t the issue. Speaking of cost I wonder how the engine contracts work if a team takes a sixth power unit – I assume that the engine builder takes the cost hit on the basis of reliability being insufficient to meet the team’s requirements (unless the team has operated the engine outside of specified parameters)?

      http://www.formula1blog.com/f1-news/power-unit-use-update-before-the-final-race/

      1. @jerseyf1 The Renault engine has 4 control electronics units (CE), the table in the link only shows that Grosjean is on the 5th of at least one of those units, but he could still be on the 4th of any of the other 3 and so not able to change the whole PU.

        Red Bull and Renault were caught out by this when they originally wanted to use Vettel’s 6th PU at Sochi, but had not used the 5th of all 4 CE units so had to delay introducing the 6th PU to Austin.

  18. Aha, I got the hang of this logic.

    Abu Double. Not just points, but penalties too.

  19. Does anyone have a link to latest PU component usage to see where everyone is at going into the final race?

  20. For anyone that questions why the drivers are driving like grandmas even on the low degradation circuits this is exactly why, the fear of missing out on the double points extravaganza and risking being leapfrogged in the points standings at the last race far outweighs any benefits of chasing down the man in front for an extra point or two.

  21. Seems a really harsh penalty. Looks to me like they need to update the rules on this one.

  22. That is ridiculous. 20 places for that yet a PL start for replacing everything.

    Also, I wasn’t aware that 10 second time penalties are an official thing. More inconsistency from the FIA?

    1. “Also, I wasn’t aware that 10 second time penalties are an official thing. More inconsistency from the FIA?”

      They have been in the regulations all year, They can apply any penalty from 5 seconds up & which is recommended for which offense is quite clearly defined for the stewards.

  23. i think the FIA should also make Romain do 10 extra laps to finish the race, do 3 full donuts at the end of each lap, take the 1 km straight at no more than 150 kmph, and also drive in only 4th gear…also, he only gets one tyre for the whole race

  24. That is rediculously harsh… Guaranteed to be last on the grid with a stop and go penalty (at least) and he’s not even done anything wrong to deserve it.

    Penalising drivers in this way just doesn’t seem right. It should be a financial penalty for the team.

    1. Good point. But, the last thing a team like Lotus needs now is a significant financial penalty, don’t you think?

      1. @vrshank , @petebaldwin

        the last thing a team like Lotus needs now is a significant financial penalty

        Especially when the purpose of the engine limits was to reduce costs. If the rules set a penalty that was financial the big teams could just put in new engines whenever they felt like it and pay the money.

  25. 20 positions! Has he killed someone?

  26. This is insane. The only sensible penalty system would be striping of constructors points for technical issues. Grid penalties along with stop and go penalties would be fair penalties for driver’s errors and all sorts of sporting regulations breach commited by driver. Period.

    1. But this solution isn’t sensible, since it means that drivers aren’t penalised at all and a team whose focus is on the drivers championship could give its driver an unfair advantage by regularly changing his engine.

  27. They should just make him start in Egypt and if he makes it to abu dhabi by the time the race finishes, he wins a family of goats.

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