Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2017

Grosjean suggests title battle a factor in Hamilton ruling

2017 British Grand Prix Qualifying

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Romain Grosjean says that Lewis Hamilton’s championship status may have influenced the stewards’ decision to take no further action after the qualifying incident between them.

It was confirmed that Hamilton would retain pole position after qualifying following an investigation into whether he impeded the Haas driver in Vale corner during one of Grosjean’s flying laps.

The stewards studied video and telemetry data and despite concluding that Grosjean “may potentially have been affected by the presence of Hamilton at Turn 16”, determined that “he was not impeded”.

“I am surprised by the wording ‘the driver behind has not been impeded’,” Grosjean told media after qualifying. “If losing 0.3 to 0.4s in one corner is not being impeded I’m very surprised.

“I think it opens some room for messes in qualifying and the rules are pretty clear. I know that there’s a world title battle going on at the front but we are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys at the front and I was impeded today.

“Maybe if it was another driver the sanction would have been something and it does feel sometimes like there are two types of decisions.”

Grosjean finished the session having qualified tenth, the slowest of the Q3 runners. The Haas driver says that the incident cost him at least three tenths of a second.

“We’ve put a lot of work in and yes I lost 0.35s in two corners,” says Grosjean. “Maybe next time I have to get my front wing in his rear diffuser to show that I have been impeded.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 20 comments on “Grosjean suggests title battle a factor in Hamilton ruling”

    1. I have complete sympathy with Grosjean for a change this time. Hamilton clearly impeded him as can be seen here.

      I have no idea why he wasn’t penalised actually, terrible decision.

      1. The stewards are shambles, they’ve always been. It’s a complete mess.
        All I personally hope for is to see a few cars go around the circuit and sometimes go side-by-side. There’s no credibility whatsoever to the sport apart from that.

      2. So… what was Hamilton *supposed* to do there? Drive off the track? Hit the Aero Jack button on his Mach 5 steering wheel?

        1. Let grosjean pass him. It is not difficult.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      15th July 2017, 17:50

      Well, the Azerbaijan head steward said that they don’t want to influence the championship too much, which would explain why Vettel got a less severe penalty in that grand prix.

      This isn’t anything new as if you recall Grosjean’s race ban in 2012, the fact that his crash eliminated championship contenders was a factor.

      So F1 is admitting that they look at incidents involving championship contenders differently rather than look at each incident objectively.

      1. @mbr-9 Unfortunately that seems to be the case. The decisions regarding the similar type of incidents should be consistent regardless of which drivers are involved. I’m not trying to claim that Lewis should’ve been penalized for this particular incident, but in general, consistency is important.

    3. Marian Gri (@)
      15th July 2017, 18:21

      More than sure, but it’s the right decision tho.

    4. Sviatoslav (@)
      15th July 2017, 18:50

      Grosjean, it’s enough now to just say “I am sorry”, and you will never get a penalty. Hamilton must be penalised, but who cares about penalties? We knew that title contenders have privileges since Belgian Gran Prix in 2012.

      1. So whywas Lewis penalised in Bahrain?

    5. I take it to mean, the driver ahead was a distraction, but did not impede. It was a braking zone, there was no wake interference either.
      Hamilton was lucky because he was picking up his momentum as Grosjean was still in the process of losing his momentum or braking.
      I don’t see how he can claim 3tenths.
      Perhaps he may print some tee shirts with, “Hamilton cost me 3tenths”

      1. pastaman (@)
        16th July 2017, 12:18

        It was a braking zone, there was no wake interference either.

        Ok, and what about the next two turns? That’s where the time was lost.

    6. Grosjean probably is right about the reasons for this decision, I can understand his frustration. Nice to see all the drivers being very positive about how fast the circuit was today with these current f1 cars. Should be a good race with some fast cars back in the pack such as Riccardo and Bottas for example.

    7. Good point!

      “Maybe next time I have to get my front wing in his rear diffuser to show that I have been impeded.”

      1. I wouldn’t try that. Vettel tried it and it didn’t work :\

    8. “Maybe next time I have to get my front wing in his rear diffuser to show that I have been impeded.”

      we all know how it resulted in for him last time around!

      Hamilton was at the corner at the right time just before his timed-lap started… had it been anywhere else like before some distance to corner, midway through the lap, or ham changed his line into Gro’s line, it would be different result for the investigation…

      His major race ban was not a single isolated event, he has been a wrecking ball in row of races where he had too many major crashes which he was the perpetrator!…

      This is a borderline incident, and hardly any intent on slowing down a competitor… Ham was starting his lap, and he was not out of place for where the incident took place, and if anything, it was a distraction as Ham was nowhere near in a zone for causing impeding distance! Yes it looks like a close call but i m sure stewards had checked with Gro’s previous lap break lines and speed to compare for his “impeding” statement… he has to demonstrate, he had to back off/brake a lot earlier, and show significant time loss at an unexpected place…if ham was 10/20m back, i m sure he would get penalty… while Gro was slowing down, you can see ham was accelerating and Gro wasnt impeded… how? Gro didnt make evasive action, nor he missed the apex, nor he used an abnormal line, nor he show any sign of excessive braking/locking up!

      1. No matter which video of the incident You watch, it is clear that Hamilton is impeding a lot. I’m sure if it had been the other way around, there would have been a penalty, but what would the penalty be? The incident with Bottas clearly making a jump start, but the data measured showing he wasn’t makes me question any ruling in F1 based on data acquired from sensors, as they are clearly not calibrated or checked to be consistent with normal scientific/engineering approach. These rulings and this abuse of data/sensors/systems to backup the rulings are a disgrace for F1, but probably a heritage from Bernie – prioritize the show above fair competition.

      2. pastaman (@)
        16th July 2017, 12:20

        The time lost was not in the braking zone, but in the following 2 turns.

    9. I can’t see the data but it looked obvious that he did. I’m glad they didn’t allow it to interfere with the race and championship but it reeks of double standards.

      I was expecting penalty points on his license as a way of averting a grid penalty, I was surprised it ended up being nothing.

      1. Hamilton’s blessed.

      2. Obviously Hamilton’s championship points are more important than the rules.

    Comments are closed.