Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Grosjean and Palmer blame each other as stewards take no action

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer blamed each other for their race-ending first-lap crash in Russia but the stewards ruled neither driver was responsible.

Grosjean said he didn’t understand Palmer’s driving in the turn two collision.

“We had a great start and I was on the inside of Palmer under braking,” he explained. “I don’t know why he turned in.”

Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sochi Autodrom, 2017
Russian GP in pictures
“I was there and then he turned in. I tried to get as much as I could on the apex, but he just hit me, spun and came back and hit me again. The car was badly damaged and our race was over.”

However Palmer said Grosjean should have made allowances for the fact there was a third car on the outside of him.

“I had a decent-enough start then heading down to turn two there was a Sauber on my outside then Romain made a very ambitious move over the kerbs on the inside from behind.”

“There was no space for me to go because of the Sauber, so maybe Romain wasn’t aware of that, but he kept it in, hit me, then we were both out of the race.”

Palmer’s retirement ended a very difficult weekend for the Renault driver which included a chassis change, a power unit change and a crash in qualifying.

“I feel for my crew this weekend as they’ve worked so hard on the car, then we had such a short race. Now it’s reset, reload and look to Barcelona.”

The stewards ruled that “no driver was wholly or predominately to blame for the collision”. However they did penalise Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen for failing to rejoin the track correctly at turn two after they left the track to avoid the collision. Both received five-second time penalties and one-point endorsements on their superlicences.

2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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28 comments on “Grosjean and Palmer blame each other as stewards take no action”

  1. Palmer could’t do anything else because there was a car on the left of him. Grosjean on the other hand could of hit the brakes in my opinion.

    1. Palmer could’ve braked as well, while we’re at it. But that’s not racing. Grosjean couldn’t see that Palmer’s line was squeezed by that Sauber. Therefore, attacking Palmer made perfect sense from his perspective. Nobody did anything wrong, it was a typical racing incident. The stewards’ decision was correct.

      1. And what would Palmer braking have achieved? He was watching the sauber and making sure he took the corner in a way that he didn’t crash and he was on course to do that had grosjean not hit him. Grosjean had full view of the situation and the gap he was going for was already disappearing before he decided to go for it. Even after that he could have avoided the issue by either braking earlier or cutting the corner. Palmer had no way to avoid the incident as he could not have gone wider as he would have crashed into the sauber.

        I don’t think it was an unforgivable move by grosjean but he has to take the blame for that.

    2. Could of. COULD OF!!!

  2. How can anyone like Grosjean?

    1. He actually complains about his car more than Alonso does

  3. Clearly from the replays it was just another first lap incident, but also clearly if there is a part of blame to assign it has to go to Grosjean. I like him, but he seems to be having a grumpy start to this season.

  4. It is the circuit designers who are to blame, that turn is just too tight. I think there has been a crash in that turn on the first lap every year they have been going to this circuit, it desperately needs to be redesigned.

    1. If you are on the outside for the actual corner, the exit is so much tighter than being on the inside, which basically creates a pinch point, if you like.

      Terrible circuit design indeed

  5. As Robert said, that bit of tarmec is a complete fail by the designers, but this time it had nothing to do with this crash.

    It’s a normal tight corner after an incredibly long drag race from the start. Not even Bahrain has that. And it’s normal for this incidents to happen when the pack gets very tight. So all in all, a racing incident.

    But if we have to point fingers at someone, that has to be Grosjean. He starts second to last and launches on the inside of a very tight corner, against someone who also has people on the outside. That gap was always going to get smaller and smaller. It’s a long race, the weekend started very badly, but you’re not making yourself any favours retiring from such an avoidable incident… I feel like he could’ve waited. There was nothing to lose anyway…

  6. If it were roles reversed they’d still both be blaming each other.

    It was a racing incident between the two of them, but very bad sportsmanship in my opinion

  7. Someone needs to create the website ‘’

    1. No dynamic website required. You could carve the answer into a rock

  8. Grosjean should be long gone when his contract is up.
    All he does is whine and make silly mistakes. In his career he has shown himself to be a mediocre driver at best.

  9. I’m not sure why it is, but there was something unsurprising when, after the smoke cleared, we found the two drivers that had crashed out were Palmer and Grosjean.

  10. I would put most of the blame on Grosjean for this one. He was to only one who could actually take avoiding action and brake earlier. He risked it and his race was over.

  11. Grosjean is in full Maldonado denial mode. He knows if he admits the mistake it makes it harder for the stewards to call it a racing incident, so he has to keep up this pretense even if he knows he was in the wrong.

    Feel a bit bad for Palmer, this is the downside of the stewards’ more lenient policing.

  12. First lap nutcase is back.

  13. Wenger Out & Palmer Out

  14. Vettel/Verstappen Spa ’16 redux. Same comments even.

  15. 50/50 for me – there was decent space between Palmer and the Sauber, he was not that close to is so didn’t optimise available space and naively decided to close the door when he didn’t need to close it THAT abruptly. He knew GRO was there so what’s the point ? Naive at best.

  16. Mark Visser
    1st May 2017, 13:32

    Grosjean was off the track on the inside of the corner before making contact with Palmer (and it did not appear to be out of avoidance). If anyone should have been penalized, it was him.

    Also – Magnussen didn’t go off the track to avoid that accident. He went off because he went in way too hot. He had no right at all complaining about his 5s penalty. Vandoorne – he could have complained because he had to go off the track to avoid being hit.

  17. Who thinks Palmer’s follow-through (bump number 2 on the Hass) was not as accidental as it might appear?

    1. you do apparently

  18. To me this was a typical first lap incident, the stewards made the correct decision as it would have been harsh to penalise either driver.

    Both drivers blamed each other, which is to be expected, and you could probably make a case both ways that either Grosjean or Palmer were mainly responsible for the coming together but you just have to accept that sometimes incidents like this will happen and that no one is to blame.

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