Webber fumes at “first-lap nutcase” Grosjean

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Suzuka, 2012An unhappy Mark Webber hit out at Romain Grosjean following their clash on the first lap of the Japanese Grand Prix.

“I haven’t obviously seen what happened at the start but the guys confirmed that it was first-lap nutcase again, Grosjean,” said Webber after the race.

“And, yeah, the rest of us are trying to fight for some decent results each weekend but he’s trying to get to the first corner as fast as he can at every race.”

Webber said the crash was “immensely frustrating” and referred to Grosjean’s ban for causing a crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, saying: “maybe he needs another holiday”.

“He needs to have a look at himself, obviously, it was completely his fault,” Webber continued. “You know, how many mistakes can you make? How may times can you make the same error? First-lap incidents, it’s quite embarrassing at this level for him.”

Grosjean said he had been trying to avoid a collision in the first corner: “Well, yes, after the ban I’m very careful at the start. I kept my line and trying to avoid any contact with Perez which was on the left. I was focussing on that and didn’t see the delta speed with Mark.”

Grosjean added he was “just trying to avoid any contact, that was my main objective and yeah, it didn’t work. It was a stupid crash.”

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89 comments on Webber fumes at “first-lap nutcase” Grosjean

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  1. Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th October 2012, 11:09

    Keith, great choice of photograph for Grosjean.

    It just had me in splits for a while.. for some reason he really looked like a nut job in that snap

  2. frenchfrog said on 7th October 2012, 11:09

    how can Webber be so slow in this part ?

    It was obviously a huge mistake by Grosjean but Webber looks to slow down the cars behind him in order to protect Vettel

    • PaulT (@pault) said on 7th October 2012, 11:43

      Seriously? You’re implying Webber was on team orders at corner 2 of lap 1 to defend Vettel’s position?

      Warning, warning! – conspiracy theory alert! Putting aside how ridiculous such team orders would be at such an early stage in the race, you clearly don’t remember Webber’s reaction to team orders in the past – he ignored them.

    • MuzzleFlash (@muzzleflash) said on 7th October 2012, 11:43

      It’s a corner, the cars slow down for corners.

      The cars ahead of Webber slow down the same amount, it only looks like Mark was slow because Grosjean didn’t slow down, his car even starts to understeer just before impact as he’s going in too hot.

      Perhaps Grosjean should go back to GT racing where the cars have brake lights.

    • thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 7th October 2012, 17:02

      @frenchfrog I thought that too

      Grosjean bashing reminds me a lot how a number of senior figures in MotoGP had treated Simoncelli prior to his tragic demise.

      Let’s remember Grosjean is not being accused of deliberately driving into anyone to stop them winning a race and his points will not be removed from the season’s records as has happened in the past when a certain individual was accused and found guilty of doing just that.

      Compare today’s incident with Kimi and Alonso with the one between Lewis and Grosjean in Belgium. Kimi, realising he had no where to go moves wide onto the grass and slows slightly to move in behind Alonso.

      Lewis did not do this in Spa and the resulting interlocking of the wheels of the McLaren and the Lotus caused the first corner carnage we all remember well.

      I’ve watched it back several times, and Lewis didn’t even move far enough over to touch the white line near the edge of the track. Grosjean was slated by many and of course banned for 1 race. (video footage inc) http://wp.me/p2HWOP-8l

      Webber slags off Grosjean for what was today a closing speed misjudgement. If I remember rightly, in Valencia 2010 he was on a long straight – massive wide track – no other cars in sight – and he claimed he ‘misjudged’ the closing speed after ramming into the back of Kovaleinan – something Martin Brundle called “utter stupidity”.

      Short memory Mark?

      • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 7th October 2012, 17:53

        I don’t think Mark is implying he has never made a similar misjudgment in his entire career. What Mark clearly is saying, is that, “You know, how many mistakes can you make? How may times can you make the same error?”.

        • thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 7th October 2012, 18:30

          Watch the BBC compilation of Grosjean’s first lap incidents (UK only) http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/19509199. Not all of his “7 first lap incidents” are really his fault.

          plus the YouTube footage of Monaco and Spa http://wp.me/p2HWOP-8l and the different way Hamilton and Raikkonen deal with very similar situations.

          As I said above today was a closing speed error – not the the same as others.

          • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 7th October 2012, 19:46

            Not every single one was his fault, sure, and he wasn’t penalized for every single one either, but he did get a 1 race ban for Spa and he did get penalized for this one.

            And a closing speed error on the first lap is still a mistake on the first lap (which is what I think Mark was really getting at). Grosjean had more than enough time to slow down to avoid Mark if he had been paying attention. I’ve watched the footage over and over, and I just can’t understand how an F1 driver at that level couldn’t avoid that kind of a collision. But you know, if this was the first time Grojean had made a mistake on the first lap I would be willing to forgive it and call it a simple brain fade moment. He’d still get a penalty, but I wouldn’t get overly angry with him (like Mark in 2010, it was stupid but sometimes it happens). Everyone has those moments, and even as strange and foolish as that mistake is it can and has happened to the very best. He is a repeat offender though, and a driver who just recently received a 1 race ban for causing an accident on the first lap. I would think he would have been on his best behavior for the first few turns at least if only to not get himself into more trouble (don’t jump on that and think that I mean he should crawl through the corner and curtsy to the other drivers, but he also shouldn’t plow into any of them). A deserved penalty, and if he takes another driver out again in such a blatant manner I hope he gets another race ban because he obviously didn’t learn from the last one.

            Also, if you in any way think that Hamilton was even partially responsible for the Spa incident then we are definitely not going to see eye-to-eye on this discussion.

          • thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 7th October 2012, 23:22

            All I was trying to say was

            1) This is not the 7th such incident.
            2) Webber Valencia 2010 (8 years F1 experience) was beyond absurd
            3) Hamilton could’ve tried using a bit of the grass like Raikkonen today – now he’s out of the WDC.
            further:-
            Hamilton was in front of the stewards most races in the first part of 2010 – no ban.

          • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 8th October 2012, 0:00

            No, but he has been banned already for first lap incidents. That is the consistency I’m getting at here.

            It was indeed, and he hasn’t done that since (he did run into Massa in Italy last year though, but it was the hip thing to do in 2011).

            Nope, Hamilton established a line from the start and Grojean moved across the whole width of the track and made contact. There was no need for Hamilton to move over any farther or jump onto the grass heading into a braking zone. Nor did he have any reason to back off just because another driver can’t tell whether he has cleared someone or not. Let’s be serious here.

            2010 or 2011? I didn’t start following heavily until part way through 2010 so I don’t know how often he was involved with incidents then. I will assume you mean 2011 (my apologies if you didn’t). Indeed he was, and he got hell for it last year, but he was also mainly involved with a single driver and never once caused a Spa-like accident. And remember, Massa also received a penalty for one of their collisions and was also being told over the radio to destroy Hamilton’s race on one occasion. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but that’s kinda odd.

            Also, Maldonado hasn’t received a ban either. Grojean is special even in the stewards eyes.

      • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 7th October 2012, 19:16

        Actually, I think i agree with you, and remember: Webber was a lot more experienced at that point.

        • clay (@clay) said on 8th October 2012, 1:49

          @thejudge13 I’m afraid this incident and the KOV incident in Valencia were vastly different. If I remember correctly KOV braked quite early compared to Webber’s braking point – in the order of 50m+ – and that contributed significantly to the accident. Here Webber was driving at the normal speed for that corner and RG just drove into him. Webber has had first corner incidents in the past however he learned from them, think of Nurburgring ’05 for example. Given the scrutiny post-Spa surely RG would be a little conservative. He has made some great first corner moves, i.e. Valencia, however as the old saying goes “to finish first first you must finish” – maybe Romain needs to focus on that for a while.

          As to your blame of Hamilton for the Spa incident I’d simply say the stewards got their penalties right – and how much of a penalty did Lewis recieve?

          • thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 8th October 2012, 2:00

            I think you should watch the video link I posted on the KOV incident. Webber tracks him down a long and very very wide straight for several seconds – not what an experienced driver does with a car that was far slower – a point made at the time by Martin Brundle.

            I didn’t blame Hamilton – just as I wouldn’t have blamed Kim today. I just suggest the smart thing to do at times is avoid contact – like Kimi did twice today with both Alonso (almost) and Lewis (after final pit stop).

          • RAMBO said on 8th October 2012, 3:05

            Even so, it happened only once in Webber career, twice tops. Grosjean has hit cars one way are the other on 7 occasions this season, all of wich were his faults. A mistake can happen, making a mistake 7 times, isn’t a mistake, but a bad habbit.

          • vjanik said on 8th October 2012, 15:12

            He has made some great first corner moves, i.e. Valencia

            Yeah, thats because his driving at the start is either all, or nothing. He risks a lot at the start. Sometimes it pays off and he makes up several places, like in Valencia. But this season at least, most of the time it ends in tears. You just cant drive all or nothing in F1. This is not karting. People want to see the top drivers fight it out for the championship, not have them being taken out by Grosjean every other race.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th October 2012, 1:39

        @thejudge13, Unbelievable, you bring up the case of Simoncelli as a defence of Grosjean!
        The talk about Simoncelli was that he was to crash prone, he crashed into other riders by taking stupid risks and was a danger to himself and anyone near him, the fact that he died in a crash he caused involving other riders just proved that the talk was correct, however as he paid the ultimate penalty for his behavior and no-one else was injured he was forgiven. But the talk was right.

        • thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 8th October 2012, 1:52

          @HoHum Was merely used as an example of band wagon jumping… just like ill informed people who infer this was Grosjean’s 7th such 1st lap incident.

          Simoncelli got slated by Lorenzo when he himself was underperforming and under pressure. BBC MotoGP commentator’s in 2011 regularly suggested Simoncelli was getting overly criticised

          Check out @willbuxton who points out Melbourne, Monaco and Silverstone were not grosjeans fault.

          Also I simply posted video evidence suggesting Hamilton experienced a similar scenario to the one Kimi had today. Kimi took to the grass and survived – Hamilton didn’t and is out of the WDC.

  3. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 7th October 2012, 11:11

    Give him a break. He isn’t going through the best of times. We all know, GRO is a good driver

    • Mads (@mads) said on 7th October 2012, 11:20

      @malleshmagdum

      Give him a break.

      Isn’t that exactly what Mark encourages?

      maybe he needs another holiday

      • @mads – Hahaha! Completely agree with what you’ve said!

        • adri005 (@adri005) said on 7th October 2012, 11:33

          D’Ambrosio back please!

          • Why? What part of his drive in Monza was Lotus worthy to you?

          • wannes cauwelier said on 7th October 2012, 12:52

            no kers and D’Ambrosio finished 13th at his debut for Lotus. GRO has 7 finishes out of the 14 he had permission to start

          • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 7th October 2012, 12:55

            @tony031r

            As far as I recall his KERS didn’t work in Monza and that’s a huge disadvantage on that circuit

          • Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 7th October 2012, 13:11

            @tony031r
            Plus his name sounds like Ambrosia, a company that makes the finest, creamiest rice pudding a human could ever hope to taste!

          • @tmekt I know he had no KERS in the race. He finished 13th because other drivers in front had a heap of trouble. Otherwise he would have classified 17th or 18th. Add that to the poor quali session and FP times / pace…

            As for Romain’s finishes, he has 9 classifications (7 of them in the points, 3 of them on the podium) and 5 DNFs. It’s not a good ratio but not nearly enough to justify replacing him with someone of D’Ambrosio’s calibre.

            Nothing against Jerome, I’m sure he did his best at Monza, but I can’t imagine how he would be a better option for Lotus than Grosjean.

          • RAMBO said on 8th October 2012, 3:07

            He had no testing, bar one day at Mugello and was within 7 thents of a second all weekend of Raikkonen, who’s been in the car for the entire season. That is not as bad, Massa was further away from Alonso for a lot of races.

  4. Andromeda (@andromeda) said on 7th October 2012, 11:12

    You have to wonder now at this point if the FIA is considering revoking his F1 license. But nevertheless there will be red steam amongst the Lotus team at Grosjean for this. I can’t see them resigning him for next year at this rate surely he will lose his seat at Lotus next year…

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 7th October 2012, 12:01

      Look at how Lewis did last year, and compare it to this year.

    • The FIA probably won’t revoke his licence. They did it with Yuji Ide because he was both slow and dangerous. Romain is not slow and he is a podium scoring driver in a top team. Revoking his licence will cause too much of an undesired stir.

      However, if the FIA are willing to put up with Grosjean, I’m not so sure about Lotus. A driver who retires, gets penalised / banned and attracts general hatred from the fans and the rest of the drivers is definitely not a good option for a team who has WDC-aspirations. Grosjean does not have a contract for 2013 yet, there are tons of decent drivers available on the transfer market and Boullier lost his temper towards a driver of his in the past, for much less.

      Romain needs to prove he is fast, safe and consistent in the next 5 races or so…otherwise, there’s a chance he might not like the overall outcome of his actions on track.

      • vho (@) said on 7th October 2012, 12:57

        hey did it with Yuji Ide because he was both slow and dangerous. Romain is not slow and he is a podium scoring driver in a top team.

        But there is a huge difference between the Super Aguri and the Lotus… however, that said, IMO Ide is not as capable as Grojean, but he’s quite careless too.

  5. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 7th October 2012, 11:13

    Last time Webber was mad & cursed a driver was Vettel in Japan, 2007: “kids they **** it up”.
    Look what happened to him. Take heart Romain.

  6. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 7th October 2012, 11:14

    Webber sure makes a lot of judgements based on something he admits he hasn’t even seen. I appreciate he’s upset about how his race was affected but I don’t really see that Grosjean did anything dreadfully wrong. Any other driver and the stewards wouldn’t have handed out any penalty, let alone anything as harsh as a stop and go. It’s a shame but I think that Grosjean has been turned into something of a villain in the eyes of the stewards and will receive disproportionately harsh punishments if he’s anywhere near an accident from now on.

    Shame as he’s a good fast driver and he needs nurturing not punishing out of the sport.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th October 2012, 11:22

      It’s a shame but I think that Grosjean has been turned into something of a villain in the eyes of the stewards and will receive disproportionately harsh punishments if he’s anywhere near an accident from now on.

      I do not know how you could defend Grosjean’s driving in Spa and Suzuka. They were blatant driver errors that destroyed multiple drivers’ race. He might have speed, but doesn’t have the common sense or awareness standards required by formula 1 drivers today.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 7th October 2012, 11:27

        I’m not defending those incidents. I’m saying that while he’s made some stupid and dangerous mistakes in the past, it doesn’t mean that any crash he’s involved with is automatically in the same league. He’s had his punishment for those incidents and his performance should now be looked at objectively. All I saw today was the sort of first corner clash that happens at virtually every race. Of course, he’s to blame, but the punishment and the reaction from some pundits is totally over the top. Especially when other drivers got no punishment for doing worse.

        • caci99 (@caci99) said on 7th October 2012, 13:06

          He is a repeating offender. Obviously the previous punishment haven’t worked out. Yes, one feels sorry seeing a fast driver destroying his own race and that of the others, but too much is too much.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 7th October 2012, 13:46

            But there was nothing that unusual about his accident here; it’s the sort of accident that just happens in racing. The only way to avoid it would be to slow down, get out of everyone’s way, and let the other drivers overtake him.

            I don’t see any evidence that he hasn’t learned from the punishments he’s received. It was just one of those textbook first corner accidents you’d get from basically any driver. To say he shouldn’t have those sort of accidents implies that he now needs to drive in a way that’s different from every other driver. Effectively he’s being told not to race any more.

            I agree he needs to keep his nose clean but what’s the point in slapping massive punishments on him for pure racing incidents? Unfortunately I think he’s been so demonised that regardless his fantastic pace, his career in f1 is probably going to end soon. And that’s a sad loss from the sport.

          • Claidheamh (@aseixas) said on 7th October 2012, 16:46

            @mazdachris, great assessment, I completely agree.

          • hamster said on 8th October 2012, 12:08

            +1

  7. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 7th October 2012, 11:19

    Blistering speed, coupled with crippling clumsiness. Gotta work on that Romain.

  8. I’m really sorry for Grosjean. He is throwing away his carreer. He is very, very fast, but he keeps doing stupid mistakes. I watched the interview and he was clearly sorry, he clearly didn’t want to take any risks. I think that he gets confused too much. It’s like he can’t think about two things at the same time at the start. Today he was focused on Perez but he seemed to forget that there were cars everywhere.

    I don’t know, I hope that he will learn eventually. It would be a shame if he doesn’t.

  9. marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 7th October 2012, 11:28

    I thought the “first lap nutcase” tag was quite amusing, I can it sticking (unfortunately for Grosjean).

  10. Andromeda (@andromeda) said on 7th October 2012, 11:38

    Even if people here consider Webber a bit of a hypocrite you still have to admit calling Grosjean a first-lap nutcase would suit Grosjean quite well. When Rosberg and Whitmarsh even start giving Grosjean these terms you know they have some meaning towards them

    Whitmarsh “classic Grosjean” I loved that one the best.

  11. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 7th October 2012, 11:52

    @mazdachris I agree. Other drivers have made silly errors too, but it is brushed off as ‘one of those days’. @todfod

  12. Estesark (@estesark) said on 7th October 2012, 12:04

    Time for Webber to deploy that right hook, perhaps?

  13. sumedh said on 7th October 2012, 12:31

    “First lap Nutcase” – A little too long to be a nickname. But I think it will stick!

    But seriously, RoGro needs to take a hard look at himself. I am shocked that Maldonado seems to have turned a corner but Grosjean hasn’t. Maldonado has now had three incident free races in a row and he has also been fast on each of these occasions. I never expected him to grow up so fast.

    But RoGro seems to be going from one first lap incident to other. Webber is bang on money when he says Romain needs another holiday.

    This championship seems to be going down to the wire. If Massa finished 20 seconds behind Vettel, I have no doubt in believing that Alonso would have been right with Vettel. It should be a fun five races.

    But I do not want RoGro deciding the championship for us in the first lap of Brazil. He better behave himself by then.

    • FlyingLobster27 said on 7th October 2012, 14:26

      “Maldonado seems to have turned a corner”- without hitting anyone. :D
      But seriously, yes Maldonado has managed to stay out of trouble after a Belgian GP he definitely deserved a ban for (he impeded in quali, jumped the start and collided while climbing back up the field; he basically failed every single stage of the race). But it was Grosjean who got the ban, so he’s being looked at a lot more now, and more so certainly because Pastor, the focus of our attention before Belgium, has seemingly tidied himself up.

    • Palle (@palle) said on 7th October 2012, 15:52

      But I do not want RoGro deciding the championship for us in the first lap of Brazil. He better behave himself by then.

      Completely agree. Better give him another holiday or special training before that happens. He is blistering fast, but sadly not mature enough in his drivecraft to handle that speed served to him by Lotus.
      As I saw it, either he didn’t slow down – carried too much speed into the corner – or he accelerated too soon – his speed was suddenly much higher than both Webber and Perez and his car began to understeer – which is why he couldn’t cut under Webber, but hit him.
      As Webber probably knew he didn’t make any errors in that incident, he is right in assuming that he was torpedoed from behind due to someone elses driver error, hence I don’t think he needs to have “seen” the incident before grilling Grosjean.

  14. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 7th October 2012, 12:49

    Romain Grosjean: A really fast driver who is future WDC material, if he can make it past lap 1.

  15. caci99 (@caci99) said on 7th October 2012, 13:08

    “First lap Nutcase” what would have happened if it was Hamilton to speak those words? :)

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