Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Grosjean’s reaction may have made crash less severe – Steiner

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner defends Romain Grosjean’s actions in the first-lap crash at the Spanish Grand Prix, saying he may have prevented more drivers from being eliminated.

Grosjean was given a three-place penalty for the incident after the stewards ruled he accelerated after losing control, which sent his car across the track into the path of two other drivers, who hit it.

Speaking before the penalty was issued, Steiner said Grosjean’s reaction may have prevented his car being stranded in the middle of the track where it would have presented a greater risk to other driver.

“He just tried to get out of the way,” said Steiner, “that’s why he accelerated when he was in the middle. Two were taken out but if he [ended up] in the middle maybe five would have got taken out.”

Grosjean has had a poor start to 2018. He is yet to score a point and has crashed out of the last two races. However Steiner views his latest retirement very differently to his crash during a Safety Car period in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I think this is completely different than what happened to Baku,” said Steiner. “This is just a start incident. You needed to take some risks, he took them, and they didn’t work out. What can you do?”

Steiner is standing by his under-fire driver. “We need to get him up,” he said. “We need to help him.”

“I said to him I cannot blame you for this, it’s like you tried to get the best start you could and it didn’t work out. Move on. It’s as easy as this. Focus on Monte-Carlo. We know that he can be very strong in Monte-Carlo. Get your head in order and try to do your best.”

“For sure at the moment it’s not easy for him,” Steiner added. “He will not be [saying] ‘who cares, nine races, no points’. He will really suffer from it. But he needs to get back up on the horse and get going again.”

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57 comments on “Grosjean’s reaction may have made crash less severe – Steiner”

  1. Very true, Guenther, and like me, I’m sure you appreciate the FIA rewarding Grosjean for his selfless gesture. What a sportsman.

    1. The man deserves a medal! A true hero!

      1. Such a selfless act. Truly masterful piece of accident avoidance!

        1. If you guys knew anything about driving a car at the edge you’d know he’s right. If Grosjean hadn’t slipped the rears, he’d have gone straight into the racing line and crash against cars that were on the racing line.

          Get a grip!

          1. Get a grip!

            A fitting remark.
            But you are not wrong. This way, he not only went straight into the racing line, but also over and across it. And he did it all in style, with fabulously billowing plumes of smoke to accentuate his form.

          2. Nathan, he stuffed up mate. Hes been doing that a lot lately. He spun, over and across the racing line and pretty much everything in between. Good burnout though

          3. Nonsense. His correction and application of throttle is what turned him back towards the track. If he had just let the car spin he would have ended up beached in the gravel

          4. The fact that he did not back off in the first place meant that instead of loosing a few places like Alonso did (he also had a traction issue on that corner but backed off) he spun and ended up in the middle of the track. There is also another very effective way to stop your car rolling across the track and it is that new fangled thing called a brake peddle! Plus as far as I can see he did end up on the racing line in a cloud of smoke! The cars that crashed into him were on the racing line so your argument is not based on fact…

          5. If you guys knew anything about driving a car at the edge…

            Get a grip!

            @nathanbuilder, two great examples of how to comment respectfully on RaceFans. Well done.

          6. @shimks Thank you, I do make an effort to try and be respectful. It’s important to do that on the internet, considering we could be talking to anyone. Rule of thumb, pretend you’re talking to a work colleague or your boss.


          7. Haha! :O)

    2. most of all he carefullly set out a smoke signal to make his car more visible.

    3. most of all he carefullly set out a smoke signal to make his car more visible.

  2. Yes Gunther, his action of slamming his foot down on the gas,slinning the wheels and creating a huge cloud of smoke that left everyone having to guess where the hell he was was a good thing.

    I’d argue it was the reactions of the other drivers that avoided other collisions. Most either going wide to the left or as in Sirotkin’s case, almost stopping dead. Hulkenberg and Gasly were unlucky, Hulkenberg had no choice no time to react.

    Gasly had maybe a 50-50 chance based on a split second decision. Go left or right and hope for the best. Whichever way he went he had no idea if he’d be collected by Grosjean as he could see where he was. I do thinkhad he gone left instead, he might still have been hit OR he may have collided with someone else.

    I’ve liked Grosjean over the years, after his race ban following Spa 2012, he really picked himself up and had some great races and showed great pace. But since he went to Haas, it’s almost like pre-2012 Grosjean again.

    1. I’ve liked Grosjean over the years, after his race ban following Spa 2012, he really picked himself up and had some great races and showed great pace. But since he went to Haas, it’s almost like pre-2012 Grosjean again.

      My sentiments exactly @nikkit – his performance in the latter part of the 2013 season in particular was also pretty good to watch, what with Kimi and him giving Red Bull a good run for their money on Lotus’ tight budget.

      1. With Kimi winning races, makes u think that Lotus could have been an absolute rocket in Alonso or LH hands…

    2. You do realize F1 cars don’t power out of a skid, right? You need to gain grip in the rears, not lose.

      Grosjean was trying not to career straight into the racing line.

      1. He failed big time then didn’t he! Because that is precisely what he ended up doing.

        You know the best way to gain more traction? Take your foot off the power peddle!

      2. @nathanbuilder

        I watched live and Brundle and Croft went on about it quite a bit during the safety car period. Brundle was very critical of Grosjeans decision to slam his foot down like that.

        Brundle being an ex-f1 Driver, I give his opinion more weight…..even if between him and Croft they seem to manage to get a lot of drivers names wrong.

        He’d already lost rear grip by that point, all slamming his foot down like that did was spin up the rears, create a lot of smoke and because he hadn’t come out of the spin, propelled him across the track and firmly on to the racing line..

        He may have been better to turn into the spin, ease off the throttle and let the car do a full 360 out of the way. Then pick up the back of the pack. The run off was big enough, that he may have stayed clear enough of the gravel, if he ended up in the gravel, at least he won’t have ruined the race of two other drivers.

        I’ve watched the replays from a few angles now,and his actions could have actually been much worse.
        The lead Force India (Ocan?) spots him in time and really hugs the corner tight.
        The second Force India goes wide, as does Alonso (who had himself lost grip, but chose to let the car drift widde rather than fight it.
        The lead Willams (Stroll) is actually forced over the kerb and two weheels onto the grass.
        The impact threw Hulkenberg across the track where he was a general hazard, plus what was left of his tyre was snt flying (Fortunately not the full wheel)
        Sirotkin practically stopped rather than risk ploughing through the smoke – for all he knew there might have been a massive tangle of wrecks on the other side.
        And lastly the second Sauber (Ericcson?) Can be seen four wheels on the grass, having missed the wrecked Haas, but finding himself flying through clouds of debris.

        Everyone else dived through the smoke and probably let out sighs of relief on the other side.

  3. Steiner must be getting fed up regarding Romain’s mistakes and making excuses for them.

    He lost the car, he spun, he was already out of the path of the pack. He kept the foot down, came in the middle of the track with a plume of smoke.

    He wasn’t trying to save a crash on the wall of a superspeedway, when people do that all the time.
    I still don’t unterstand what he tried to do there.

  4. Tough job Gunther has managing these drivers regular f….ups. Literally every weekend has has had to PR the hell out of some incident. Granted, it hasn’t been all the driver’s fault. Well other than Australia it has been the driver’s fault. On the upside, Magnussen is really driving well when he’s not crashing or causing accidents. He was flawless in Spain. Grosjean on the other hand seems to be back to he reckless self from 2012 but without the speed. Romain is potentially racing his last season in F1, unless he has a fantastic turnaround, which he also had in 2012.

  5. Sergey Martyn
    14th May 2018, 18:58

    “Dumb and Dumber 2018 – When Steiner met Grosjean”.
    Romain will be too dangerous even behind the wheel of Mutt Cuts van.
    Still can’t believe this hogwash.

  6. Why is this guy defending Grossjean still? Does he truly not realize how desperate he sounds?

    On the other hand, this interview was apparently taken before Grossjean went to the stewards and therefore most likely before Steiner had a chance to view the TV footage. Otherwise I cannot fathom him saying that Grossjean was stranded in the middle of the track. He clearly was well off track and then decided to drive straight through to the opposite side of the track filled with oncoming cars.

    Hopefullly when Steiner did review the footage in a more quiet setting he saw how bad his driver behaved. Again.

    1. It’s just a team boss defending its driver, even though knowing he messed up. Grosjean is getting flak from everyone. It wouldn’t help his confidence if the team would also attack him in the media. Quite possibly, Steiner tells Grosjean something totally different 1 on 1.

  7. Mickey's Miniature Grandpa
    14th May 2018, 20:04

    I guess I must have imagined Grosjean’s car being well out of the way on the outside before he floored it and ended up in the middle of the track in a big cloud of smoke.

    If only the stewards could give him another 10 place grid drop for telling such pathetic lies. Covered under bringing the sport into disrepute, perhaps?

  8. “He just tried to get out of the way,” said Steiner, “that’s why he accelerated when he was in the middle. Two were taken out but if he [ended up] in the middle maybe five would have got taken out.”

    Uh, no.

    1. Agree. Lame excuse for a driver trying to save his race by jeopardising others. When other drivers spin out they wait for traffic to clear before smoking the tyres and turning the car around.

  9. If I use Steiners logic, if I cross a busy road with my eyes closed I won’t get hit, because what I don’t see, does not exist….

    1. As long as you break out into a FULL sprint right before you get to the oncoming traffic you’ll be just fine

  10. YellowSubmarine
    14th May 2018, 21:39

    But what choices did Grosjean have at that moment, though? Keep driving in the same direction and he rear-ends his teammate, who had come across the front of Grosjean quite aggressively I think. Slow down and he gets shunted by the cars behind. He at least tried to accelerate out of the problem area while pointing the car in the one direction where there was some room. Shame that he then spun, but I think he’s being hung out to dry a bit unfairly this time.

    1. The spin wasn’t his fault. Deciding to do doughnuts in the middle of the track definitely was.

    2. He was on the outside of the turn, he should have hit the brakes and steer into the spin. That way he would have spun away from the track (and probably into the gravel). But apperently he rather took his chances spinning into the pack and hoping no one would hit him so he could continu.
      Like Gorge said, The spin wasn’t his fault. But his reaction after was.

      1. Remember other guy who went off the line and then came back just to save some time?
        Marco Simoncelli.

  11. Guenther … April 1st has been and gone. Your true reaction to this, we’ll find out at the end of the season if he still has a drive or not.

    1. @franton He’s taking a leaf out of Bernie’s book – talking nonsense because he can!

  12. Some said it was unwise, others that it was sheer stupidity… The normal thing to do would’ve been to brake in order to keep the car going towards the outside, not to floor it and spin it towards the oncoming field.

    Grosjean wanted a seat at Ferrari… He’s going to be lucky if he keeps his seat

  13. What is he smokeing ?

    Grosjean needs another 3 race ban !!!

    1. Burnt new Pirelli. They hadn’t had time to document all the side-effects, but this might be one of them.

  14. Tarmac run off was also a factor in making this accident worse. If grass and gravel had been on the outside as in years gone by Grosjean would have spun harmlessly off the road to the left of track. His trajectory would never have allowed him to come back onto the track.

    In this instance the tarmac run off was far more dangerous.

  15. Here’s my theory…just a conjecture, but still.

    Grosjean is mentally frail as a driver, and now with Magnussen beating him regularly and all these incidents happening, he’s as low as he can go. Guenther’s public statements are to make sure Romain knows his team boss is with him and not just supporting him privately only to bash him in front of the world. Now I’m not agreeing with Steiner’s statements (far from it really), but this is the only way I can explain his statements, which otherwise seem completely deluded. In any event, Steiner’s also definitely proving he’s not a Briatore or a Dennis, and this might actually be a nice ploy to attract more drivers to the team.

    Speaking of which, what would potential backup options be? Giovinazzi seems like the only one, and having previously tested for the team, is probably a good choice, even if he’s not an official reserve driver for the team. Haas don’t have anyone in that spot, they have two largely inexperienced F2 rookies (who’re already out of their depth in F2 having moved up without having had the requisite success in GP3) in Maini and Ferrucci, as development drivers.

    1. there was a fittipaldi talking to haas. i think i ve read here.

    2. Very nice points in your first para @wsrgo

    3. I would like to see Leclerc driving that car. But they won’t get rid of Romain this year. Unless he continues to underperform and something on his contract about it can be used to let him go.

  16. If Grosjean had just let the car go on the initial slide, he would have spun harmlessly off the track. Sure he’d have lost time and been last, but he’d have rejoined.

    He tried to keep his foot in it, then just buried it as the car started to veer back on track, he had 2 or 3 chances to back off but kept the foot buried to spin the car, he basically ended up doughnutting the car into oncoming traffic. Insane.

  17. The issue here is how Steiner allways defends his crew – drivers or mechanics… He is really a true leader – now a lot a people will shot a Steiner and GRO can get some air. Remember how he was building MAG up again after Arbiboulshi7 had his claws inside him at Renault – after being kicked by Honda who wanted 2xWC (BUT and ALO). At the same time MAGs mother was hit by cancer and he was left as 3.th driver.
    MAG was crushed after Renault tried to sell his seat before he was offered a one year seat in front of PAL. Here he was picked up by Steiner who gave him the tools to float again: trust in the leadership, fun and free conditions, backup and coaching.. Think Streiner is a clever guy.. he could have saved Kvyat as well. Point is that most the drivers all got the pace in F1 if they are feeling comfortable – they are performing.

    1. @alexm14 @nunu I think Haas is a more humane and decent place to work compared to many other teams. First time Kmag has had some continuity, and he’s getting the job done, despite his faults. GRO was a major catch for the new HaasF1 team that gave them a known quantity by which to gauge how they were doing as a team. He also gave them immediate credibility, as in no rookie pay driver here. HaasF1 went for the best driver they could get and did pretty well. I’m sorry, but Esteban Gutierrez wasn’t up to the job, but I am willing to give HaasF1 for throwing a bone at their new part supplier, Ferrari. Once they got going, though, Esteban was out, and they weren’t about to act merely as a training ground for Ferrari. Kmag is working out for them. Unfortunately, he’s also proving that GRO is not getting all there is from the car. He acts as if he is under some enormous pressure to perform, and each screw up makes that situation worse. Gene Haas is a loyal sort of guy, but they may have to cut GRO loose if he doesn’t straighten himself out.

  18. Michael Brown (@)
    15th May 2018, 7:52

    I’m sure every other driver would have done the same, like when Raikkonen caused the crash in Britain 2014.

    1. that was a way different scenario.
      Kimi went out of the track and came back in full throttle (like he has done in Spa a lot of times in the past) hit some bump and lost control in the middle of the track, on a straight.

      Grosjean lost it on turn 3. If he just let the car go, it wouldn’t stop on the middle of the road.

  19. Has anyone considered that the real mistake made by GRO was in fact not simply falling in behind MAG instead of trying to make the point that he could overtake MAG? From a team point of view it wouldn’t really matter who was 7th or 8th. Ending 7rh would’ve been the fredh start that GRO needed.

    1. Exactly.. there you got a point – he had passed 2 cars – he should have aligned behind MAG and settled in the right side and prepaired for the next left turn…
      Why fight his own teammate?

  20. Romain Grosjean is a dud and I hope he gets the sack sooner than later.

  21. There is a time and place for everything, but doing victory donuts in lap 1 seems to be a bit premature.

  22. If there were no penalty points, then we would have had the first race ban since 2012…

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