Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012

Grosjean handed one-race ban for first-corner crash

2012 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Romain Grosjean has been banned for one race following the crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The collision was triggered when Grosjean moved across on Lewis Hamilton on the run to the first corner.

Grosjean car struck Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari dangerously close to the cockpit. Four drivers were eliminated in the crash, including Grosjean, Hamilton, Alonso and Sergio Perez. Kamui Kobayashi’s car was also badly damaged.

The Lotus driver was also fined €50,000 for the collision.

The stewards explained the penalty as follows: “The stewards regard this incident as an extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others. It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.

“The stewards note the team conceded the action of the driver was an extremely serious mistake and an error of judgement. Neither the team nor the driver made any submission in mitigation of penalty.”

Grosjean said: “When your life is all about racing, not being allowed to attend an event is probably one of the worst experiences you can go through. That said, I do respect the verdict of the stewards.

“I got a good start – despite being disturbed by Pastor’s early launch, which I think was the case for everybody at the front – and was heading into the first corner when the rear of my car made contact with the front of Lewis [Hamilton’s].

“I honestly thought I was ahead of him and there was enough room for both cars; I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that. This first corner situation obviously isn’t what anyone would want to happen and thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident.

“I wish to apologise to the drivers who were involved and to their fans. I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver.”

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

374 comments on “Grosjean handed one-race ban for first-corner crash”

  1. “It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.”

    Why should that have any effect on the penalty? Now i’m all in for Grosjean getting a penalty, because he really should be taught some manners, but it shouldn’t matter who he crashes into. The stewards just made fools of themselves.

  2. Espacially it is a high-speed circuit, and the slower cars and less expirienced drivers were at the front while the faster ones were qualified at the back made it very challenging for drivers like Alonso, Hamilton, and Grosjean to have a clear room to hit front without getting blocked and using their own rate of acceleration at the start without distruptions.

    Anyway, I think it is absolutely wrong and dangerous for Grosjean to just cut to the other end of the track immediately as shown in the race, giving Hamilton NO space to back off on the track where their wheels are going to come into contact.

    So from my perspective, I think that the crash was because of Grosjean’s immediate “cutting through” and Hamilton desperately wanted to get the position back and therefore, when others are braking, Hamilton and Grojean came together, with Hamilton at a much higher speed than the rest of the car, with his car’s front tyres not in contact with the ground but stuck in Grojean’s rear wing. After this collision, they came into the two unaware drivers, Alonso and Perez, who were shocked when the two drivers flew right above their cockpits when they were turning. Grojean flew 1 meter ahead of Alonso’s helmet and then crashing into Perez, before spinning off and crashing onto the wall. And as Hamilton ram onto Kobayashi’s Sauber, Alonso’s Ferrari spun 180 degrees and was lifted off by Hamilton as his Mclaren’s nose sent the ferrafi into another spin. Kobayashi was then lucky to be unharmed and able to continued while Perez came to a halt further up the track.

    1. actually it was Hamilton car out of control that push Grosjean into Perez launching it into Fernando’s car, neither attempt to break on the slide to the corner. One interesting thing is HAM experience in crashes letting the wheel go !
      HAM is not guilty perhaps on this one but I found interesting he continually gets involved with the rookies when under pressure, if he was smarter could have avoid a couple DNF and get more points.

  3. Hmmm…not entirely convinced this was necessary, it didn’t look at all malicious and just looked like a typical lack of judgment that we’ve seen from Grosjean this season. Maybe that’s the case for the stewards but I don’t think they should have taken previous poor judgment into consideration, considering he’s largely kept out of bother since Monaco.

    I don’t agree with this part of the statement from the FIA…

    “It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.”

    That shouldn’t matter and should not have factored into their decision.

    Grosjean’s statement is a good one and respect to him for being so honest and apologising to the drivers fans.

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