Romain Grosjean, Haas, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Grosjean given three-place grid penalty for crash

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean has been given a three-place penalty for the Monaco Grand Prix for causing a three-car crash on the first lap of today’s race.

The decision to penalise Grosjean hinged on whether he acted correctly by accelerating after he had lost control of his car. The action sent his car across the track where he was collected by Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly.

Grosjean told the stewards he accelerated because he felt it was inevitable his car was going to cross into the path of his rivals. However the stewards pointed out that his car was fully off the track on the outside before it began to cross it.

The stewards issued the following verdict:

The stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the driver of car eight, Romain Grosjean and the team representative.

Car eight was following car 20 [Kevin Magnussen] at the exit of turn two when car 20 had a momentary loss of control. Car eight avoided car 20 which caused him to lose control of the car to the left of the track at the entry to turn three. The driver explained to the stewards that he felt that his momentum was going to carry him to the center of the track, and therefore made the decision to apply power in an attempt to cross to the right side of the track and get out of the way of the cars behind. However, while crossing he moved into the line of cars 27 and car 10, and all three cars were involved in a collision that took them out of the race.

The driver stated to the stewards that he made the decision to cross the track, trying to avoid the other cars and that he felt this was his best option. The stewards found that while it is speculation as to where the driver’s car would have ended up had he chosen other alternatives, it is certain that while crossing the track in front of the following pack of cars, which he chose to do, that a collision occurred. Further, in reviewing the video, the stewards found that the car was following the line on the left side of the track and was almost fully off the track, when he made the decision to cross it.

Grosjean was also given two penalty points on his licence for the collision, which puts him on a total of five.

Speaking before the penalty was issued FIA race director Charlie Whiting described Grosjean’s reaction as “unwise”.

“My personal view is he could have done a much better job of that,” said Whiting. “He spun and it’s very unusual to see a car light up its rear wheels like that on the first lap of a race.”

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Keith Collantine
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40 comments on “Grosjean given three-place grid penalty for crash”

  1. Further, in reviewing the video, the Stewards found that the car was following the line on the left side of the track and was almost fully off the track, when he made the decision to cross it.

    Hm, so that does sound like Grosjean was trying to portray himself in the best light. A three place penalty, taken at Monaco. That has got to sting. Thought not as much as the potential points lost by the Hulk and maybe Gasly today.

  2. Lucky all round, that the collisions weren’t worse and that his penalty was so lenient. It looked completely reckless and basically the stewards have correctly thrown out Grosjean’s attempted explanation (“the stewards found that the car was following the line on the left side of the track and was almost fully off the track, when he made the decision to cross it“) without following the logic of their conclusion: deciding to cross the track from one side to the other with half the pack still to go by!

    1. Mr Christopher Aitchison
      13th May 2018, 19:51

      I just want to know how hes still a driver in f1 the amount of dnf hes had and money he has cost Hass yiu would think they would be ok your dropped its never his fault in his eyes always someone else he needs to get of his high horse and realise hes not that gd

  3. Grosjean has nose-dived in performance lately. The initial loss of control looks excusable here, but how he decided to handle it was amateurish. Along with Baku it’s like the Grosjean of 2012 all over again.

    Can’t help but feel that given how much Magnussen is getting out of the car (despite himself also being dangerous) that we’re going to bid farewell to Grosjean this year. Maybe Leclerc getting an interim promotion while Ferrari considers him for their second seat.

    1. Speaking of drivers losing their seat I heard on Sky that Hartley might be next and that TR might be looking at Pascal as a possible replacement.

      1. I actually found myself thinking about Hartley during this race. When he got the job, I remember him saying that he was first cut out of the RB driver scheme because of his immaturity, without any mention in regards to speed. And because of his drive for Porsche and the pedigree he got in the WEC I thought he was going to be a bit better than he has shown so far, which is nothing short of a disappointment. Is it maybe because he has been away from single-seaters for so long? Is he still adapting to the Pirellis, especially because of the supreme durability of the Michelin tires he used in the WEC? Either way, he definitely has to up his game, and fast, if wants to have any sort of meaningful career in F1.

        1. According to Sky the rumour is that Wehrlein could be in Hartley’s seat for Montreal…

          1. @maddme But what would be the point in that? Toro-Rosso’s purpose is still to give young drivers from the RB scheme a shot in F1, not suddenly contend for a F1 championship. Sure it would maybe benefit them for a few races, but even then in the hands of Gasly the car hardly seems capable of scoring points consistently. I personally would have Hartley still see out the season, and give him a chance to improve after the summer break. Maybe with a few more races under his belt he can turn it up.

          2. I couldn’t find it on Sky, only on express UK, which is always a good source of reliable media.
            Whilst BH isn’t performing I don’t think changing just yet is wise, they need stability in that team, and chopping and changing drivers all the time will not be doing the team (non-drivers) any favours in confidence, continuity, relationship building and product knowledge.
            Besides which, I don’t rate Wehrlein that highly either, for some reason he is lauded on the boards, but there must be a reason why he was dumped from a race seat.

          3. Michael Brown (@)
            13th May 2018, 23:42

            Mid-season changes at Toro Rosso tend to precede Verstappen victories.

      2. @toiago

        What happened to Red Bulls Junior programme?

        It’s weird to see a team like Toro Rosso which has given us talents like Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz rely so much on external talent

        1. I think they fired everyone…

        2. @paeschli They’ve altered their programme somewhat to focus more on karts rather than single-seaters. The highest-ranked member is Dan Ticktum (last year’s Macau GP winner), who’s embarking on a first season in F3 this year. This might, or might not have something to do with the fact that their last two expelled junior members (Callum Ilott, Sergio Sette Camara and Niko Kari) did not live up to Max Verstappen’s lofty standards, and both Hemut Marko and Christian Horner were quoted as saying there were no junior formula standouts in recent years other than Verstappen, Leclerc and Norris. The other problem might be the demise of Formula Renault 3.5.
          While I think their decision to support drivers right from karting is a positive one, Verstappen is too unreasonable a standard to have. I quite like Ferrari’s approach of taking in drivers with talent and promise, but missing in maturity and consistency, such as Ilott and Robert Shwartzman. If you’re already looking for an all-round finished product, you’re either not going to find one or they won’t exactly need your programme.

    2. @philipgb

      Grosjean has nose-dived in performance lately. The initial loss of control looks excusable here, but how he decided to handle it was amateurish. Along with Baku it’s like the Grosjean of 2012 all over again.

      Only difference being that Grosjean was really quick on occasion in 2012. This year he seems slow and amateurish. It’s kind of hard to understand what’s happened to him off late. He’s been making ridiculous mistakes, and not even showing glimpses of the speed he has shown in the past.

      This racing incident in particular was just a really poor judgement call. He spun out following Kmag’s moment and his first reaction was to spin the car back on the track on to oncoming traffic to limit the damage. Exceptionally poor racing and decision making from him. I think he got off easy with a 3 place grid drop in Monaco.

  4. Just rewatched that Incident and noticed alonso had the same loss of traction, but he lifted instead of accelerating

    1. @emu55 I noticed that too. Grosjean acted like the guy he was before the race ban he was given after Spa. Hopefully this will make him think twice in the future. To be honest I thought this was an extremely dangerous action of his and could’ve warranted a larger punishment.

  5. He was acting like he was avoiding a crash at the wall of an superspeedway.
    This guy must go.
    Totally reckless. And he is the president of GPDA. The guy who told Charlie that Hamilton loosing the seat belt on the cool dowm lap was a dangerous practice.

  6. Sergey Martyn
    13th May 2018, 19:36

    “he made the decision to cross the track, trying to avoid the other cars”
    Flooring in a cloud of smoke in the middle of the pack?
    The award for the dumb and dumber stewards goes to Spanish GP clowns.
    Hulkenberg and Gasly are applauding their decision!
    What a hogwash…
    Couldn’t imagine a duller ending for the dullest race of the season.

  7. The right decision. Had he gone entirely unpenalized, I would’ve been surprised. He should realize when to give up attempting to return to the track and or going back to full throttle too eagerly. Incompetence at its best, LOL. Both this as well as his incident with Ocon in Brazil last season were entirely avoidable from his part had he realized soon enough to stop attempting to fight for a position after having suffered a slow-puncture and go back to full throttle too eagerly respectively.

  8. His excuse is baloney, saying it was inevitable that his momentum would carry him back across the track. When out of control, and unsure what to do, always know that if you hammer the brakes and lock up all 4 tyres, you will keep travelling in whatever direction you were going in. He might have stopped before he hit the outside wall if he’d chosen that option.

    1. @alesici
      Exactly, I’m surprised nobody has brought this up yet. Obviously it bones your tyres but it’s not like what he did would be any better. It was pure selfishness on his part thinking he could save his position at that point.

  9. heres what to do:

    fire grosjean
    move leclerc to haas and have an insane teammate battle
    put kvyat alongside ericsson at sauber

    problem solved

    1. They should have all the Red Bull Jrs duke it out for the spot: Buemi, JEV, Kvyat, and throw in Pastor Maldonado and Jolyn Palmer just for excitement. Make it a Mini series, instead of F3 on Sat.

  10. To those who subbed from F1 TV Pro:

    Watch the race opening from Stroll’s onboard. That’s some seriously scary avoidance driving Lance did because of Grosjean. That accident could have been far nastier than it was.

  11. I find this to be some intense monday-morning-quarterbacking by the stewards. I have seen a lot of Barcelona F1 races and seen a lot of cars lose it in turn 3 and go inwards, and even hit the inside wall as a result. It’s the kind of accident you see in oval racing too in a similar dynamic. I sympathize with Grosjean’s idea of trying to either get across the track or get it spun around the right way as soon as possible. What sense would it make for him to choose to go right instead of left? That said, Grosjean simply lost his nerve behind Magnussen and that spin was kind of not what you expect in F1.

    1. I am not sure we see that much inn F1. You see it in Oval racing sometimes as there are very big walls to hit. In F1 you generally have run off areas and can simply lift off and brake. If he had hit the brakes or just didn’t choose to leave his foot to the floor when he clearly had lost traction then he would likely have not spun in the first place.

  12. Wonder what GRO was doing that close to MAGs left rearwheel in a right curve… every racer is dropping the read.. snapping to get a grip when pushing the throttle..

    GRO pushed it under pressure from MAG – again.. he is loosing it..

  13. Mark in Florida
    13th May 2018, 23:11

    Right on, Ro Gro is starting to feel the pressure from Magnussen. It looks bad when the team leader is looking so bad against the young buck.

  14. Too lenient IMO

  15. Really? I’m surprised it wasn’t a 1 race ban. That was simply reckless and dangerous and the sort of thing you expect to see in amateur online racing… In no race is there any excuse for trying to catch that spin and careening across the track like that. I used to give Grosjean the benefit of doubt, but with the way he is driving lately, and the “shopping cart of excuses” he has without being able to own up and say anything was simply his mistake – it’s becoming extremely tiring.

    If he genuinely thinks he did the right thing, and would make the same decision again give the chance, then the FIA really need to reconsider his super-license.

  16. Time to see the sports psychologist again. Groajean is feeling the pressure from KMag and is panicking. Even in the free practice sessions he keeps making mistakes. The emotional response to every incident is just pushing him into a corner. He has to analyse why he is having so much trouble in a car his teammate is extracting performance from. This panicked, emotional reaction might see him out of F1 by the end of the season.

  17. I see the old Grosjean is back!! The same one that almost decapitated Alonso once.

  18. I am astounded that he didn’t get black-flagged for the next race.

  19. In his defence, he has been complaining all season this year’s Haas has been understeering – he was just trying to extend this unusual moment of oversteer for as long as possible. Not his fault the stewards didn’t appreciate his spin. And neither do I.

    1. And it’s always “what the hell guys what happened?” Like dude you are the one driving not the pitwall.

  20. I think we are witnessing an end to a career here. Sadly, I am going to remember it for all the bad reasons:
    1) first lap nutcase comment
    2) Spa 2012
    3) The moaning about the brakes
    4) Bizarre crashes – Baku 2018, Brazil 2015 (not sure which year he crashed on the way to the grid)
    5) Barcelona 2018

  21. @ Sumedh Don’t leave out the crash behind the safety car!

  22. Sergey Martyn
    14th May 2018, 18:50

    Why no one has decided to reconstruct this situation on a computer simulator?
    Renault or Toro Rosso for example?
    First, act like a French madman flooring in the billows of smoke, then act like a sane person – braking and waiting for the others to go by.
    See what happens.
    Ban the nutty “driver”.

  23. Not even close to harsh enough. Grosjean has long been a “first lap nutcase” as Mark Webber once called him and his insane decision to throttle up as soon as he lost the car was always more likely to place him in the path of oncoming traffic. In 30 years of F1 fandom I’ve never seen a driver try to mitigate the effects of a spin by trying to rejoin the circuit regardless of the situation on track.

    A three place grid penalty is not even close to harsh enough, given the danger Grosjean created. Worse, there appears to be a view that a three place grid penalty ‘has to sting’. Gimme a break. The kind of leniency we’re seeing is feeding a culture where drivers take unsafe risks, knowing the punishment will be light.

  24. “Haas F1 Team
    [Decision] Terminated
    We regret to inform you that the team has decided to remove you from the position as 1st driver of the team. The team’s confidence in you is currently very low.
    We wish you the best of luck for the future of your career.
    Yours sincerely, Haas F1 Team”

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