Spanish Grand Prix – Haas’ Romain Grosjean has been penalised for causing the first lap collision that took out two other cars along with himself in Spain.
Grosjean lost control of his car negotiating the high speed Turn 3 at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday, spinning back across the track into the path of other cars as the French driver kept the power down. Resulting in lots of tyre smoke hampering visibility, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg & Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly were left with nowhere to go and collided with the Haas. All three retired on the spot.
Grosjean faced criticism for the move from pundits and commentators, due to him keeping the power down unnecessarily throughout the spin. Hulkenberg also commented on Grosjean’s driving, telling German TV that perhaps he ‘should look at joining another sport’. This is in the wake of Grosjean also causing an extended Safety Car period towards the end of the race in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago, crashing by himself into a wall.
The FIA investigated the Lap 1 crash, and have given Grosjean a three place grid penalty, as well as two penalty points on his licence. This takes him to a total of 5 points for this 12 month period. 12 points results in an automatic race ban. Here’s the full explanation from the stewards:
The driver explained to the Stewards that he felt that his momentum was going to carry him to the center of the track, and therefore made the decision to apply power in an attempt to cross to the right side of the track and get out of the way of the cars behind. However, while crossing he moved into the line of Cars 27 and Car 10, and all three cars were involved in a collision that took them out of the race.
The driver stated to the Stewards that he made the decision to cross the track, trying
to avoid the other cars and that he felt this was his best option. The Stewards found
that while it is speculation as to where the driver’s car would have ended up had he
chosen other alternatives, it is certain that while crossing the track in front of the
following pack of cars, which he chose to do, that a collision occurred. Further, in
reviewing the video, the Stewards found that the car was following the line on the left
side of the track and was almost fully off the track, when he made the decision to cross
it. The Stewards therefore chose to penalise the driver.
The most dramatic moment of the race 😬
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 13, 2018