Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Grosjean says he couldn’t avoid being hit by others in crash

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean says he could not have avoided being hit by other drivers when he crashed on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Haas driver lost control of his car at turn three. He continued to accelerate as the car spun into the pack in a cloud of smoke, where he was hit by Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly. All three retired from the race.

Grosjean said accelerating instead of braking in response to the spin was a normal reaction and claimed braking wouldn’t have stopped him sliding in front of other cars.

“I lost the rear end of the car and I tried to put it back as long as I could, it just didn’t work,” he told Sky.

“If I had braked, the car would have [slid] the same way. So I tried to stay on throttle spin it and at least not face a lot of people. It didn’t work.

“I don’t think there was anything different than that [to do]. I guess it’s quite a normal human reflex if you look at [Nico] Rosberg in Malaysia in 2016 with [Sebastian] Vettel, Michael [Schumacher] in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

“Honestly if I had braked I think I would’ve stayed in the middle and it would have been the same thing. Unfortunately once the car started to go forward again going onto the track it was very difficult.”

Grosjean remains under investigation by the stewards over the collision.

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Keith Collantine
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33 comments on “Grosjean says he couldn’t avoid being hit by others in crash”

  1. I think he’s right. His tyres found grip at one of the worst moments, and he was going to be flung across the track at a sickening speed. Forcing the car into a spin was a sensible thing to do, sadly the outcome wasn’t too far behind the worst case scenario. But that’s always easy to say in hindsight, while he had about half a second to make a decision in a very chaotic situation.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      13th May 2018, 17:14

      I agree with this. I don’t think it was a bad decision trying to spin the car, but like you say, it did turn out badly. There was an interview with him on sky that was quite interesting. He mentioned 2 or even 3 examples of the past when drivers have used the throttle to spin the car round when either going off or starting to loose it. It often works out better than not trying, but in his case it didn’t. It looked very unlucky where he lost it behind Magnussen and he was very unlucky with the outcome. It was his own fault, but was also unfortunate.

      1. He mentioned 2 or even 3 examples of the past when drivers have used the throttle to spin the car round when either going off or starting to loose it.

        Did those drivers do it in the runoff area, or bang in the middle of the track, in the midst of traffic? He mentioned Rosberg in Malaysia and Schumacher in Abu Dhabi (in the article above), are those the instances you’re referring to from the interview as well?

      2. But he was steering to the left, if he wanted his car to spin he should have steered to the left. The way he was steering was like trying to prevent a spin.

        1. WHat i meant was, he should have steered to the right

    2. The points is that the wheel spinning began as he tried to get back onto the track after going off. That wasn’t to do with preventing an accident, it was to do with refuing to accept he’d gone into the gravel and waiting to rejoin safely. By the time he’d got back on track, he was facing the wrong way and spinning all over the place with the revs and wheel spin he’d generated. Plus the smoke. It was like someone had decided to do a donut in the middle of the race track at the race start.

    3. He is not trying to spin the car. He is counter steering all the way thru. To spin the car on the run off he would have to flick the wheel to the right.

      1. Completely agree! I just watched the replay in slow motion and he was counter steering to the left to try and rejoin the whole way. He is full of shyte to claim he was trying to spin the car.

      2. He had a chance to recover. When he first started to spin he lifted off the throttle and the car started to right itself again. But he then floored it putting him back into a spin while keeping it floored and counter steering. I don’t buy the human reaction part, i don’t believe anyone would floor it when the realize the’re gonna crash (also in normal raod cars). The first reaction is to hit the brakes. He got off easy with only three grid places

  2. Crashjean strikes back. Ruining two drivers’ races as well as his own. 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.

  3. He is wrong, Robert Doornbos said after seeing his spin that he should steer with the car instead of against. Also he said he was on full throttle because he thought he was slipping in the gravel. So his situation awareness sucks too.

    1. What does Doornbos know? He was no more than field filling for a couple of races.

      That guy does no more than say what people want to hear just in n attempt to be popular.

      1. He was a pretty competitive driver in formula 3000 and Indy car. You don’t get a formula 1 seat if you can’t drive.

      2. So if the guy didn’t won at F1 he can’t say anything?
        Even amateur drivers can say something about that. And probable all of them would say the same thing. It was dangerous.
        He left the track then came back sideways.
        Schumacher and Rosberg never left the track on the examples he mentioned.

        1. And they spun their cars from being stationary facing the wrong direction

      3. But we should listen to you? Thats odd, i can’t remember sseing you win a race in F1 (or any other catagory for that matter). And what he says is true, you don’t need to be a racing driver to know that.

  4. No Grosjean no. Spinning up your rear tyres breaks any traction they may have had, combine that with the motion through the corner and instead of spinning off you pirouetted the car in a completely random direction. It was damn stupid.

    1. Spinning the car on the run off would have made sense. What he is saying was one of the right things to do.

      The only problem is that he isnt doing it.

  5. Grosjean may not have been able to avoid others, bit rather than creating plumes of tyre smoke he may have given others the opportunity to avoid hitting him. I don’t drive an F1 car so I don’t know how else he could have handled it but it looked reckless.

  6. Creating a smoke cloud was what caused the problems for the other cars, because they couldn’t see where Grosjean was. Therefore what caused the smoke cloud (i.e. keeping his foot on the accelerator) was IMO the wrong thing to do.

  7. A 6-year overdue riddance. After Spa 2012 RG should have been banner for good.

    1. I must agree. I think @jerejj has aptly given him the correct name: crashjean

    2. Probably Hamilton (and Button) wished he’d seen the last of Grosjean after Spa 2009!

  8. He drove straight back into the oncoming stream of cars. How can he pretend that wasn’t the wrong thing to do?

    He’s really losing it again. Devolving back into his old days of crashing badly every race.

  9. Sergey Martyn
    13th May 2018, 20:12

    Sirotkin got three places penalty and two points for his license in Baku for much less brutal collision with Perez who ended the race on podium.
    Crashjean got three places penalty for eliminating himself and other two racers in a stupidest and smokefull “Fast and Furious” style crash that could be fatal for others.
    Thanks God, no one got hurt but that kamikaze should have been banned for a race or a season.
    At least for his drunken sailor swearings over the radio when someone blocked or interferred his majesty but when he risks the lives of other racers in a most stupid ways he gives lengthy explanations to stewards and walks away whistling.
    Kvyat was demoted to Toro Rosso for much less incident, I think Haas should kick that demolition derby man out of their team. BTW, Kvyat is connected with Ferrari now, so here is a ready replacement.

  10. The crash reminds me a bit of the accident in DTM race at Hockenheim 2007. Tom Kristensen was in Grosjean’s role – at least he wasn’t the steward today, it was Derek Warwick.

  11. Pedaltothemetal
    13th May 2018, 22:12

    What a stupid statement. He would have either ended stationary on the outside of the track or in the runoff.
    Both options are better for avoiding being hit than going sideways across the track in front of 10 cars in a cloud of smoke.

    Get your #### together, Romain…

  12. Well it’s pretty clear that ‘Grosjean’ couldn’t avoid being hit by others in the crash. However, I’d put good money on any other F1 driver managing it.

  13. davey (@djdaveyp87)
    14th May 2018, 5:53

    I don’t agree with Grosjean at all, and actually think what he did was more dangerous than the infamous Spa incident. I think his 3 place grid penalty is less than a slap on the wrist for something that was probably one of the most dangerous things I have ever seen in F1.

    Fact is, he could have locked up, pitted and carried on. Instead he seemed to want to commit suicide! The acceleration is what carried him across the track and it can clearly be seen from the replays. He had so many options and he chose the wrong one. Hulk summed it up perfectly.

    I’m not saying he deliberately chose to crash, but he definitely made the wrong decision.

  14. The problem with what grosjean did was that he did a huge burnout in the middle of the track creating a wall of tyre smoke for about 10 cars behind going 200kph. If he’d just let the car stop it would have been more safer for everyone. He deserves to be penalised, Grosjean is losing it this year.

  15. My initial gut feeling was he found himself spun around with half the pack headed right for him and panicked, hence the spin around, which didn’t really work. I think he knew he was going to get hit but obviously didn’t want to be hit head on.

    Grosjean has made a few comments over team radio about dangers and being hurt- one springs to mind recently about brakes or tyres and his comment was “well you are not risking your life out here”. Other drivers don’t say things like that. He is under pressure as K-Mag seems on it this year (and will no doubt win the F1 drivers popularity contest in the meantime as well :) and maybe having young kids his head isn’t quite in it anymore? I hope he bounces back, but not sure he will.

  16. To me it reeks of ‘I binned it behind the safety car last time out; I can’t have another self-inflicted retirement, so I’ll floor it and hope for the best’.

  17. Grosjean could seriously have been sacked for this.

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