Singapore Grand Prix – Haas’ Romain Grosjean is just three penalty points away from a race ban after picking up a penalty for ignoring blue flags in Sunday’s race.
Grosjean was given two penalty points for ignoring blue flags in Sunday’s race at Marina Bay. Having made his pitstop from P8 and running the Soft tyre, the Haas driver was attempting to make progress back up the order when he encountered the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin. Squabbling with the Russian driver over P13, Grosjean didn’t jump out of the way of the race leader Lewis Hamilton when the Mercedes arrived on his gearbox. Instead, he continued fighting with the Williams before getting past, and then allowing Hamilton & Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to ease past.
The stewards, having reviewed the footage, issued Grosjean with a five second time penalty, which resulted in him finishing a classified P15 and a lap down. He was also given two penalty points on his superlicence, which takes him to nine points in total for the current twelve month period. Twelve points results in an automatic race ban.
“I’m sorry if I blocked anyone, it was not my intention.” said Grosjean afterwards. “I believe I did my best. I was fighting with Sergey (Sirotkin), who was doing a little bit of go-kart racing out there. I couldn’t really slow down. Pierre (Gasly) was on my gearbox and Sergey was on my front wing. I passed him, then as soon as I passed him, I let Lewis (Hamilton) by.”
Grosjean remains the most recent driver to have been banned from an F1 race before, the only man on the grid to currently have that honour. Having been involved in a spate of incidents in 2012, Grosjean’s triggering of the Lap 1 pile-up at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix resulted in him being banned for a round. This was before the current penalty points format was introduced.