Grosjean vaults into barrier in huge Monaco GP2 crash

GP2

The GP2 cars took to the track after qualifying for today’s Monaco Grand Prix and once again provided a talking point for the rest of the paddock.

This time it was after a frightening accident which saw Renault F1 team test driver Romain Grosjean hurtling high into the barriers at Tabac.

The massive crash, triggered when series leader Grosjean made contact with Andreas Zuber’s car, brought the race to an early halt.

Zuber had made a mistake at the harbour front chicane, allowing Grosjean to make a passing attempt at Tabac. Zuber covered the inside of the corner, then moved back towards the racing line. Grosjean, who was also moving towards the racing line, clipped the rear of Zuber’s car, sending his car into the air.

The Addax car landed in the barriers, narrowly missing the camera man who filmed the dramatic footage above.

Grosjean mercifully escaped without injury. He was very lucky.

But questions must be asked of the lengths drivers are allowed to go to defend their positions. As has been discussed many times on this blog in the past, the present arrangements allows the leading driver a great many advantages in defending their lead – even allowing them to run other drivers clean off the track without punishment.

Zuber moved off-line once to defend his position, and was moving back towards the racing line when contact was made. Again, this has been allowed many times in the past in GP2, F1 and similar series, despite the enormous potential for dangerous accidents such as this.

As long as such driving is permitted, crashes like this are inevitable. And in the close confines of circuits like Monaco, it invites accidents like this which could have much worse consequences. This was a lucky escape.

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36 comments on Grosjean vaults into barrier in huge Monaco GP2 crash

  1. gabal said on 24th May 2009, 1:27

    It is all easy to analyse like this from the comfort of the chair but those things happen in few seconds and I doubt it has more to do with anything but the racing insticts. I’m sure Grossjean was feeling frustrated as he was stuck behing Zuber from lap 1 and decided to risk it all as a point(s) finish was at stake here.

    Racing incident accoring to me even though it was nasty to see it, mostly because of camera in the front row…

  2. For me, Zuber makes just one defend move and just got back to his turning point.

    I´m not sure that Grosjean would pass him by inside or outside of that turn at Monaco anyway. Certainly, he knew that. Racing accident!

    The point in the incident for me is that Monaco is still a very dangerous circuit. Dangerous to the drivers, to the media crowd and mainly to the public. A great event, but a very dangerous one too…

  3. Lustigson said on 24th May 2009, 7:16

    One thing that speaks against Zuber is that he shortcutted the chicane prior to the incident. However, he didn’t appear to have gained from it, because Grosjean looks to be closer afterwards than before. Perhaps Grosjean thought this was his only chance at overtaking Zuber.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th May 2009, 10:02

    I like that we have the full spectrum of opinion on this incident, from “it wasn’t a big crash” to “Zuber should be banned”!

    • Patrickl said on 24th May 2009, 11:00

      Those are two seperate discussion:
      1) It’s a “huge” crash, to “it wasn’t such a big crash” or maybe a variation to “this could have been a huge crash with serious implications”
      2) and “racing incident” to “zuber should be banned for life”

      Most people seem to agree on this being a “racing incident” though.

      Invoking the unwritten rules really doesn’t help your case though. That’s about drivers being side by side.

      This situation is about another unwritten rule. The one that says that when the driver in front brakes the car behind him should brake too.

  5. SoLiD said on 24th May 2009, 11:02

    First I think the fence did a great job.

    The incident is because Zuber needed to brake a bit earlier to make the corner and Grosjean didn’t anticipate that… racing accident in my book!

  6. Dani said on 24th May 2009, 14:40

    Driving rules apart, Grosjean is really fast but he wasn’t smart risking too much for just an extra point in the standings. He is leading the GP2 too easy and he should have been more conservative, specially in Monaco. For me the accident was a combination of Zuber’s nerves (Every time he is under pressure he makes this kind of mistakes) and Grosjean lack of maturity.

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