The drive-through penalty handed to Romain Grosjean for been judged to have left the track in completing his overtake of Felipe Massa has become quite a talking point among JA on F1 readers following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lotus driver Grosjean, who was also given a 20-second post-race penalty for clashing with McLaren’s Jenson Button, went on to finish sixth having looked like he was in contention for at least a podium earlier in the race.
The vast majority of those commenting on the incident have been sympathetic to Grosjean, suggesting he didn’t deserve the penalty.
Phil said: “Super impressed by Grosjean’s mature aggression. He was unlucky with the penalties I felt.” ShaBooPi added: “I feel Grosjean was hard done by this weekend, I don’t think he deserved a penalty with Button and for Massa he should have just returned the place.”
Another reader Max said: “Grosjean was very aggressive and that was fun to watch. Yes, made clumsy move on Button, but everything else was top class. Passing Massa was just superb and penalty was just so wrong.”
Neil Jenney said: “Romain Grosjean. That penalty? Brutal. That pass? Best moment of the race,” while Spinodontosaurus added: “Unnecessary penalty for Grosjean, took him completely out of the equation which spoilt the race a bit in my opinion.”
Rishi said: “By the letter of the law Grosjean should have been penalised but at the same time it did feel a bit harsh. I think my objection was more in context with the circuit: because it is dusty and twisty we were seeing cars understeer onto the run-off with all four wheels off the track on repeated occasions and yet nothing being done about it. So in that context I felt Grosjean should have been given the benefit of the doubt.”
While Grosjean apologised for the incident with Button, he said he felt the drive-through was unfair. “On Massa I thought I had at least two wheels on the white line of the track,” he said. “I tried the outside and I pushed hard. But I haven’t seen the footage so far so I need to look a bit more into it.”
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier added: “He had nowhere to go so he was a little bit four wheels off the track, but just a couple of centimetres. Obviously it’s very harsh when you get such a penalty to recover when you’re fighting for the podium.”
Ferrari’s Massa also defended Grosjean, saying that he felt the penalty was harsh. “If he took the penalty because of what he did with me, that’s completely wrong,” said the Brazilian. “He didn’t go four wheels outside, he went with two wheels. Two wheels is possible.”
It’s a tough one: rules are rules, but this was the kind of move that used to be celebrated when performed by Ayrton Senna or Nigel Mansell and it seems to be sending out all the wrong signals to the F1 loving public to punish a breathtaking move like this.