Romain Grosjean, Haas, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Haas hasn’t decided who will substitute if Grosjean gets ban

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Haas has not nominated a driver to replace Romain Grosjean if he incurs a race ban, despite him being just two penalty points away from an automatic suspension.

Over the last 12 months Grosjean has collected 10 of the 12 points necessary to trigger an automatic ban. He will not have any points deducted until after Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

If Grosjean were to pick up two penalty points during the course of Friday and Saturday his ban would come into force for Sunday’s race.

Neither of Haas’s reserve drivers – F2 racer Arjun Maini and ex-F2 pilot turned IndyCar driver Santino Ferrucci – have enough FIA superlicence points to be able to race in F1. But Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told RaceFans in an exclusive interview he hasn’t lined up a replacement for Grosjean if he needs it.

“I don’t know yet,” said Steiner. “I cross that bridge when I get to it.”

However Steiner denied he would leave the seat empty if he has the opportunity to find a replacement. “I’ll find somebody,” he said. “I know enough people. There’s enough people around here.”

“I’m comfortable that he won’t get a penalty, put it this way,” Steiner added.

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Grosjean also has a three-place grid drop for this weekend’s race as a result of the collision with Charles Leclerc which earned him his 10th penalty point.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said the purpose of penalty points is to “track a driver’s record” and are “completely separate” of the penalties drivers are given for incidents.

“When you have a penalty you always get a penalty point except for a reprimand, you don’t get penalty points for reprimands.

“I know some people are a bit confused: Applying points is not a penalty as such. He got a penalty which was three grid places so it was a fairly normal sort of thing and he’ll just have to serve it at the next race.”

Grosjean’s 10 penalty points equals the most any driver has ever collected. Daniil Kvyat reached 10 during the Hungarian Grand Prix last year.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Haas hasn’t decided who will substitute if Grosjean gets ban”

  1. Let Charlie Whiting drive it – he knows how it “should” be done ;)

  2. I’d expect it to be Anto Giovinazzi, or maybe someone from Indycar given that seasons over now

  3. Pathetic system. What’s the point in having it only to avoid the proper punishment ? Of course there’s no one else in line. Grosjean was never going to get a ban.

  4. Grosjean has (on many occasions) demonstrated that people shouldn’t count him out. He has the uncanny ability to surprise and do the unexpected. Or in this case, the opposite, that being, the expected.
    After all, it is one classification for F1 drivers that he can say he is leading.
    Would be interesting to drop someone else into the seat for a couple of races.

  5. Is it common for teams to have not one but two reserve drivers that don’t meet the requirements to drive in F1? Seems strange.
    BTW, if Grosjean picks up 2 more points during the race, he’ll get the ban, right? From the article I got the sense the points only deduct after the race.

    1. The points last for a period up to 12 months. It accrued within a 12-month period. Romain got two (i think) penalty points during the 2017 Mexican GP which was held on 29/10/2017. Those two points will lapse/expire on 29/10/2018 which happens to be monday. So even if he gets a couple of penalty points this sunday, the expiry will save him.

      1. @webtel But surely on Sunday evening, he will have 12 points, triggering a ban. The fact that later on two points expire wouldn’t undo that ban.

        1. @fluxsource
          My bad. It will trigger a ban. I stand corrected.
          I thought the ban gets implemented only if you have 12 in your kitty on (subsequent) race day.

          1. If he gets them during Friday or Saturday he will also be banned from the race on Sunday ;)

  6. Robert Kubica!

  7. Haas hasn’t decided who will substitutereplace if Grosjean gets ban

    There, FIFY :P

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