Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2017

Wolff: Grosjean should be happy he is driving in F1

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has hit out at Romain Grosjean, following the Haas driver suggestions that Lewis Hamilton did not receive a penalty for holding him up in qualifying because he is involved in the championship battle.

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  • 61 comments on “Wolff: Grosjean should be happy he is driving in F1”

    1. “Petronas extends Mercedes title sponsorship (Reuters)”

      Remember Eddie Jordan telling Toto Wolff that Petronas was leaving Mercedes????
      Can anyone put Eddie & Toto together to talk about this topic tomorrow?

      1. They had a quick interview on C4 where Eddie said he was wrong and it’s great news for the sport. Personally I can’t stand him. He’s a walking contradiction who only makes meaningless predictions. He makes out he’s some kind of King but he only repeats rumours that others have said. I wish they’d just drop this clown now.

        1. Meaningless predictions perhaps, but surprisingly many of them have been correct. He predicted Hamilton’s move to Mercedes, he predicted McLaren’s deal with Honda (if I’m not mistaken), he predicted the entire lineup on the grid a few years ago (2014 I think), he predicted that Ricciardo would go to Red Bull instead of Raikkonen, before they had announced the deal, and that Horner was annoyed about it, which turned out to be all correct at the time, and I think he also predicted Sauber’s deal with Honda, amongst other predictions.

          He doesn’t just repeat rumours, he gets a good understanding from the position of a former team boss, and uses his own understanding to put things into perspective. He gets it wrong many times too, of course, but he’s a very successful and knowledgeable man who talks about what he knows about, unlike many others we listen to who don’t have a clue. I’d certainly listen to him over those such as the sky presenters any day

          1. He predicted Schumacher’s comeback

          2. Sviatoslav (@)
            16th July 2017, 7:13

            @strontium – The problem now is that no one shares information with Eddie any more, because he talks too much. That’s why his predictions have nothing to do with reality.

      2. He stated categorically that the Petronas contract would come to an end some time, not that they were leaving.

    2. I don’t think what Grosjean said was completely off. I mean, they banned him for a race back in 2012, mainly because he took out championship contenders. That was the justification back then, not just “provoked an aviodable incident”, no, because “it eliminated championship contenders” from that race. And then you have Vettel’s incident at Baku: nothing there, just apologise and move on. Had it been Grosjean or Stroll, I wonder how FIA would’ve reacted. Same yesterday during qualy: I doubt they’d have taken the same decision had Grosjean been ahead of Lewis.

      Also, they react to drivers moaning. Last week Perez blocked Bottas during the race. He said it himself, he thought he was racing for that position. But Bottas didn’t complain or at least they didn’t broadcast his radio message if there was one. Kimi on the other hand shouted after being blocked by Stoffel Vandoorne, and they penalized him.

      I do think that the stewards have a biased view when it comes to championship contenders or drivers racing for “the big teams”. They are harsher with those in the midfield and back. It should be “driver A impeded driver B”, but it isn’t…

      And anyway, Grosjean’s driving from 2012 banished completely after that season. So I think he’s in F1 on merit, Toto… and even if he didn’t, it’s not a good argument either.

      1. Grosjean was banned because his cup was full. It wasn’t just because of a single incident.
        Grosjean complains a great deal, even in his team, he makes mountains out of little things.
        He got it right though when he called Sainz a mental guy in Canada, because it was exactly the same move he Grosjean made that got him banned.

        1. Double standards and hypocrisy. We should be used to it by now in F1.

        2. Wasn’t it just a single incident? many of the incidents back then were racing incidents, hence why he wasn’t penalized at all until Spa. The “first lap nutcase” thing came afterwards in Suzuka.

          And in any case, we should applaud a driver for making such an incredible progress. From 2013 he was completely different to 2012. And I’m not a big fan of Grosjean, but we’ve seen worse… I remember even Lewis and Seb were a bit too rough around the edges as drivers back when they started.

          But anyway, he might moan a bit, but nothing like Kimi or Seb these days… but we are supposed to LOVE Kimi because he’s hillarious.

          1. @fer-no65, since you bring it up, Keith did produce an article at the time listing the number of incidents that Grosjean had been involved in up until the Japanese GP (and the infamous “first lap nutjob” comment by Webber).

            Whilst it is true that a number of those incidents were characterised as “racing incidents”, two of those incidents had resulted in other drivers retiring due to damage caused by him (Maldonado in the Australian GP and di Resta in the British GP). Equally, although a number of those incidents could be said to be “racing incidents”, before the Belgian GP he’d been involved in six such incidents in eleven races – that was still a fairly high incident rate.

            I do agree that the explicit reference to taking out championship contenders in the penalty that they dished out to him in that race was, nevertheless, wrong – it shouldn’t have mattered whom he was colliding with, and simply been a question about the severity of his actions (particularly given how close his car came to striking Alonso in the head).

            That said, in retrospect the one race ban, although being imposed for the wrong reasons, might have also contributed towards his change in attitude.
            Before that, when he’d been asked about the number of first lap incidents he was involved in, he tended to refuse offers of external help – such as taking on a driver coach – and rejected criticism of his driving. After that, though, he did seem to become more receptive to offers of external help (and I believe that he did take on a driver coach not long after the Japanese GP) – that shift in attitude, to me, at least in part explains the improvements in performance between the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

            1. I agree anon, and I think we might get a similar situation with Kvyat, who has now started to enter a row of incidents, which he doesn’t want to discuss or accept his blame for, last one, he explained with wheel lockup, seemingly ignoring the fact that the wheel lockup is a natural consequence of braking too late. In that first corner he took out 2 drivers.
              That said I think Wolff’s comment trying to shut up Grosjean by referring to something he did in the past, for which he was punished, and learned from, is just confirming that Grosjean’s comment is spot on. If Wolff had any valid argument to support the stewards decision he would have put that forward instead.

        3. Grosjean got at least in part banned because of how the accident influenced the championship. I don’t want to say that a severe penalty was not needed. And I am certainly of the opinion that it helped Grosjean grow as a person and become a better driver.

          But for Toto to pull this of all things out of the bag to throw at Romain after he mentions that it is highly curious to say that he was held up but not impeded when it could well have costed him another grid place, is insensitive to say the least. In my opinion, Toto should quickly go to Grosjean (and Haas) and apologize for his comments made as they are misplaced and unfair.

      2. @fer-no65

        “If Romain Grosjean comes out and starts asking for penalties for other drivers, you should rather look at his track record. He should be happy he is driving in F1.”

        I pretty much agree with you. I’ll admit I haven’t actually read the article, but purely from this snippet of what Toto is saying, he’s wrong. Grosjean’s track record isn’t bad in the last few years. He’s had some bumps and incursions of course, but I don’t think any more than the next driver. But if anything, if you are penalised for something you surely expect the others to be too. If not it is nothing short of double standards. Say I have a car crash where I hit somebody, I have to pay for the damage. A year later if somebody hits me, I’d expect them to pay. They don’t get let off because I’ve done the same thing in the past.

        And when it comes to drivers with a patchy record from years ago asking for penalties, let’s start with Hamilton and Baku. It shouldn’t be one rule for Toto’s “championship contender” drivers and another rule for everybody else. I don’t dislike Toto at all, but he’s got it very wrong here indeed.

      3. I’m in two minds about penalties for blocking in quali. Even in cases where it’s black and white and a penalty should be applie, I don’t want to see pole go the driver who set the second fastest time (or indeed for any position to be awarded in this way. Don’t have an answer but grid should be determined by the stopwatch ontrack not afterwards in the steward’s office.

        1. @f1bobby: This is exactly the double standard thinking which is the problem. Same offense, same punishment, no matter who do it. They have to punish impeding during qualifying, like ignoring blue flags in races. Think about the anarchy, which would come if they don’t.

          1. Sure I agree but grid drop isn’t the right penalty I don’t think; if I saw someone do a 1:20:000 and someone else did a 1:20:500 but driver 1 impeded someone he still earned pole in my book. Suspend the penalty or apply it at the next round maybe but don’t make the eyes and the stopwatch lie. A pole position earned in this way is meaningless.

    3. Romain, burning any bridges at Mercedes he may have had!

      1. …my tin foil hat was thinking this was a move with Ferrari ambitions.

        If he could have taken Lewis off pole for them.. Even the way he didn’t gesticulate immediately, made me feel this was an opportunistic move.

        I wouldn’t swear it, obviously I dunno, maybe it’s just another romain crying incident.

    4. It’s interesting that Toto didn’t show that kind of emotion when Vettel hit Hamilton…

      1. He wouldn’t burn that bridge.

      2. Thats because Wolff hasn’t signed a contract with Grosjean ;-)

    5. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      16th July 2017, 0:44

      That’s quite the unprofessional response from Toto especially as he inherited the great team from the managment of Ross Brawn.

        1. +1 that is very low and biased

      1. At least he has the moral high ground. If his team had done anything illegal, like for example an illegal tyre test, he should have kept his mouth shut. But they didn’t, or did they?

    6. who cares about the opinion of a team principal of an underground team? tototo is entitled to his opinion. and i’ m entiteld to compare it to the stuff that gets out of a red bull… or any bull.

      1. underdog team. (suprise suprise, not even i am perfect)

    7. Just thought I’d bring this up: for anyone wanting to watch the Formula E race in New York: don’t. Just don’t. The circuit is a complete disaster and possibly the worst circuit I’ve ever seen- even worse than this street circuit used in Minneapolis for sportscar racing 20 something years ago. I shouldn’t write something like this on a racing website, but it’s just a warning.

      1. I watched it. There were some great passes and good moments. I’ve seen worse F1 races and better IRL races.

        1. Yeah. The last-minute hairpin pass by Bird was great. But seriously- as an American, we are being represented terribly badly in Formula E right now in what should be a far better track in a truly great city. The Montreal event should be a good one; the Mexico City FE track was improved from last year (which was another disaster), so hopefully Senor Agag and FE will change the circuit a bit.

          1. The last-minute hairpin pass by Bird was great

            You watched it? @mfreire ;)

            1. How could I have made that comment if I hadn’t watched it?

      2. Ha! I was at that Trans-Am race in Minneapolis. I was nine years old and it was the first race I ever attended in person. I have fond memories of it, even though the track was terrible. I caught the Formula E highlights—the Red Hook track looked pretty well-suited to the cars and put on a good race.

      3. Eh? I don’t understand your strength of feeling against the F-E race – it was decent, not spectacular but not bad by any stretch. It had an overtake for the lead for one thing!

    8. Got me curious about Minneapolis Street course. Here is Barber Saab from 1997, I used to love this series. Onboard lap at 1:00, sounds better than modern f1!

      1. OMG, that start at 4:14. 😂

    9. Wolff didnt say any lie about Romain but on the other hand what has that anything to do with the alleged blocking. Romain and Haas are right, though Im glad there was no penalty, i would rather see less penalties on blocking and more consistency.
      If i were Romain I would question Totos credibility in the end hes just a money men.

      1. I’ve always felt the top teams and their drivers are able to get away with most minor infractions like that that the less competitive teams never seem to be able to.

    10. That’s Toto being a |) I ( |< .

    11. “If Romain Grosjean comes out and starts asking for penalties for other drivers”

      Remind you of someone, Toto? Especially a particular dude who came fifth in Baku?


      1. Touché

      2. Apples and oranges.

    12. Not in the round-up but it is being reported on F1Today (not always the most reliable source) that Red Bull are about to cut all ties with Sainz and Sainz will replace Palmer from Hungary on

      1. @eoin16 Very highly doubt it as Renault will almost certainly beat Toro Rosso now, while Haas will certainly do so as well. There is no gain in it for Red Bull. They want to keep Sainz badly until at least the end of 2018 in case one of Ricciardo or Sainz leaves, as they don’t appear to have any promising drivers lined up for Toro Rosso who could come in and immediately be worthy of a Red Bull seat. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened for 2018 though, with Sainz growing increasingly frustrated with Red Bull.

        1. *Ricciardo or Verstappen

        2. No, RB has fired Sainz Jr according to Twitter.

          RB acuses Carlos of starting the ‘Verstappen to Ferrari over unreliability’ rumours via spanish media to force a bad relationship and thus a place for him at the top team…

      2. @eoin16 to give it some semblance of reliability, the report is from BILD. We’ll see.

      3. Heres what I think will happen:

        – Sainz to Renault
        – Palmer gone
        – Verstappen announces Ferrari deal, gets dropped to Toro Rosso team.
        – Robert Kubica takes Maxs Red Bull seat for the remainder of the season.

        One must ask, if Renault take Sainz, why on earth have they been testing Kubica?

      4. It doesn’t seem consistent with the recent adamant statement by Horner that Carlos Sainz would be driving for Red Bull or Toro Rosso next year. Why not offer Kvyat the seat instead?

    13. Theres a few websites going around stating that Sainz will be at Renault from Hungary, replacing Palmer. I have no idea how credible this website is:

    14. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      16th July 2017, 7:08

      Very unprofessional from Toto. So basically Romain isn’t allowed to be upset about anything that happens to him in F1 because of some misdemeanours 5 years ago? Which he has learnt from. That being said the last thing I want to see is more and more penalties all the time spoiling the show (there’s already enough of them this weekend).

    15. Not very classy from Toto but generally I like that t when people speak their mind.

      I still think GRO is right though

    16. Michael Brown (@)
      16th July 2017, 7:47

      Not necessary for Wolff to take a shot at Grosjean after avoiding a penalty like this. If he’s going to be petty and refer to 2012 then is it okay to hold Hamilton’s 2011 season over his head too?

    17. An uncharacteristically rude – and uncharitable – response from Toto, which is surprising given his responses are usually mature and perceptive.

    18. GtisBetter (@)
      16th July 2017, 9:49

      both Wolf and Steiner are little children in that interview. Wolff for taking shot at grosjean which has nothing to do with the incident and Steiner suggesting that if things were reverse GRO would have gotten a penalty. I also get annoyed when drivers beg for penalties. I don’t mind them saying things like:”he blocked me/he should move (blue flag)” but demanding penalties is not for them to decide. The team reports it to charlie and that’s it. GRO his “Maybe next time I have to get my front wing in his rear diffuser to show that I have been impeded.”” remark isn’t a professional either.

      Does anybody remember the last time someone has actually gotten a penalty for blocking/ in qualy? For some reason i don’t recall it happening very often, though people get hold up a lot of times.

    19. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      16th July 2017, 11:38

      Grosjean is not anywhere near as bad as he used to be. I don’t think he’s lucky to be in F1. He’s doing enough to deserve to be here. I do think that what Hamilton did was clearly unnecessary and if it had been the other way round, Wolff will have probably have been really angry with Grosjean considering his views of his opinion now. I do agree with what Grosjean has said. I don’t think Hamilton needed a penalty, but I think he should have been given a reprimand at leased.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        16th July 2017, 11:41

        I mean I don’t agree that Grosjean thinks Hamilton should get a penalty, but I do agree with him that he could well have got one if Hamilton wasn’t a title contender. Verstappen got a reprimand last year in Canada for impeding Bottas and it was just a practice session. This was Q3! So a lot more important. I don’t think Hamilton should have escaped any sort of penalty at all. I think he should have just received something minor like a reprimand as I said.

    20. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      16th July 2017, 11:49

      Personally I think that comment about Grosjean was uncalled for. Like he clearly was hampered in some way and probably wasn’t punished harshly due to the implications on the championship. If it had been the other way around you can bet Wolff and Hamilton would be singing a totally different tune.

      Granted Grosjean’s banging on about it a bit much but Wolff saying stuff like that is quite unfair to Grosjean. He did wrong and was punished a long time ago – why dredge it up and use it as a stick to beat the guy with now?

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