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Fans sympathetic to Grosjean penalty in Hungary
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Aug 2013   |  9:16 am GMT  |  264 comments

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.

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I think it was pretty clear on the replays that he did end up with all 4 wheel’s off, although it was very close, rules are rules. All the team needed to do was recognise this and tell him to give the place back and he wouldn’t have been penalised so harshly.

Not the first time Lotus haven’t been completely on the money with calls during the race.




He shouldn’t have been penalized for Massa’s overtake. That was a brilliant move.

Button’s move. Yup deserved a penalty but during the race not one afterwards. Why is it that when there are lots of laps still remaining the stewards opt to decide after the race? I get that they may want to interview the driver but I think it spoils the race.


“A rule is a rule” – this is quite true – but why was it only applied to Grosjean? I bet there is not one driver who kept 4 wheels within the white lines for whole race – but no-one else was punished. If this rule had been applied at Canada over the years we would not have the “wall of champions”. In that location the edge of the track appears to be the wall itself, no matter that in order to brush the wall all 4 wheels are well off the circuit. Purely from a safety point of view the rule ought to be applied here too?


Drivers do go off track all the time for many reasons and are not penalized when they do not do it in order to gain an advantage over an opponent. They also cut chicanes sometimes but if they make a habit of it they are warned and are penalized, and if they get in front of an opponent they have to give the place back. In quali if a driver cuts a chicane, then his time does not count. From the race edit of Grojean did not just go over the white line by a few inches, he was well off without being pushed by Massa. There are a few border-line incidents where a driver has to go off track to avoid a collision, but these are examined on a case to case basis.

Just think a soccer player scoring a goal with his hand, should it be alllowed because it was a good move?


The hand ball rule is soccer makes the point clearly. If you touch the ball with any part of your arm, whether you gained an advantage or not then it is a foul. It doesn’t matter if you are close to the goal or not. If the edge of the track is the white line then you should have to stay within the white line “a rule is a rule”. The problem is the rule is being applied very selectively and it appears to be subjective.


Okay James Im going to do an “about face” on Grosjean at Hungary. I just saw the race edit on F1 website and I gotta say it was just another silly mistake- he just moved over on Jendon, and he did have control.

I find myself constantly looking for ways to defend him because he can very quick but honestly every time he is next to someone – he thinks he’s quicker than he is and keeps misjudging cars- alongside, in front , behind- it don’t matter he just feels he’s in position to push his way in front.

Perhaps a GP 2 throwback. I don’t think it’s going to change !.

I will now stick to what I said last year- despite his speed he will constantly fail in F1- he will nay win a few races but he will constantly crash with other drivers also – mostly likely when you would least expect it.


there is nothing new here, the penalties have been inconsistent for years, as far back as Senna, Mansell days. It’s part of the sport and politics too! inconsistency at the moment seems to be worse than ever though, and will disscourage drivers from driving at the limit on daring moves like Grosjean’s. F1 needs to grow a pair and allow some proper racing, an stop turning the races into a penalty fest, its boring! Unless a driver blatantly goes off the track what difference does it make? he was outside of the line by a centimetre or two. The likes of David Coulthard and others say, “rules are rules, if that was Moncaco you would be in the wall” well its NOT Monaco, so that is a pointless argument. You don’t go outside the lines in Monaco because you cant! other tracks drivers frequently cut the chicanes, kurbs and white lines in FP1, FP2 and Quali, either ban it from the start or leave it alone! The other problem is the stuards. Have one team that travel with the races, the same stuards, and the same ex drivers for every race, then there is consistency. GRosjean should have just bee sked to give the place back and no more. AS for the Button move, hmmm Ive seen plenty worse with no penatly. This penalty culture in F1 is breeding complacent , whiney drivers such as Button and Vettel and Alonso, whining at every opportunity. Would Ham, Kimmi or Webber have complained at that move? I doubt it, they would have just got on with it, since Grosjean would have passed them within the next lap or two anyway.


“Would Ham, Kimmi or Webber have complained at that move?”

Yes, even Kimi has had his radio moments in China and Monaco. Webber and swerving towards teammates post-race I’m sure wouldn’t “get on with it” either.


Wouldn’t a few land mines placed outside the white lines quickly resolve this advantage or not problem by applying Darwinism?


Grosjean needs time!

That he has the speed, it is no doubt!

He has gotten better when he’s not putting himself under pressure.

In the final interviews, he starts to sound like Kimi, we’ll see ….

Now all of a sudden he says a win is around the corner!

As soon as he puts pressure on himself, it becomes a failure!

Just like Masa, he needs the cuddle ….


In driver briefings before each race the drivers are informed in which corners they can go outside the track in qualy and/or in the race. Of course this doesnt always apply when completing an overtaking maneuver, but sometimes it does (think first corner in Spa). Thats why sometimes drivers go outside the track and don´t get punished like Vettel´s move on Button in Australia 2011 versus Vettel´s move on Button in Germany 2012 which resulted in a time penalty after the race.

RoGro´s penalty was harsh and no doubt his past offences helped the stewards to make their decision but his team should have informed him to give the place back to Massa and that would have been it.


Might be worth considering moving the white lines on that corner a few cm for future races – Grosjean wasn’t over the line by much. It’s a legitimate overtaking opportunity for a faster car (or one that got a better run out of T3), and it’s worth encouraging drivers to make the move when it’s on.


With the stewards it seems very much to be a case of “give a dog a bad name….” this year it’s Grosjean a couple of seasons back it was Hamilton.

It’s moredisappoiting to note how quickly the other drivers turn on him as though he’s seen as a newbie and not entitled to join the big 4’s party


Not in topic


Could it be the case that Rai and Vet 2nd & 3rd sequence was influenced by pit lane speed reduction which started from the last race?

I mean there was 4 sec time increase due to this change.



Would the stewards investigate the incident if the other driver/team does not complain?


Yes if course


[mod] Fact: He was 4 wheels off the track. Fact: he had not completed the pass. Fact: no driver has any obligation to move off the racing line. The pathetic whingers who say “he was only a couple of centimetres off the track” might think of how much of a problem that might cause – remember the famous Ferrari bargeboards that were indisputably illegal but “within tolerances” which caused utter outrage. Do we really want more of that?


So does this mean now that come the Indian GP and Abu Dhabi, Seb will no longer put all 4 wheels over the line for fear of punishment? I dont think so. It has annoyed me for a couple of years now where drivers dont stick to the white lines. At the end of the day the lines define the track. Vettel is the biggest exponent IMO of leaving the race track, the penultimate corner at India is always a prime example of Vettels cheating. I know everyone does it but I always think it was Seb who was the first real culprit of it and who did it consistently.

At Hungary later in the race after RGs penalty, Seb went all 4 wheels over the white lines chasing Kimi, so wheres the difference? He didnt get punished for that.

RGs penalty has now set a precedent IMO. Does this mean from Spa onwards every single time a driver leaves the track they will be punished like Romain? I think not. However I hope they do as like I said previously it has really annoyed me for a while now. The white lines define the track. Of course well have the stupidity of the second chicane at Monza soon where they are told its ok to cut the corner there! Ridiculous!


I agree the car should stay within the white lines. What we need is a penalty that is not as severe as a drive thru’ but not a time added on penalty as that is a pain for fans to follow during a race. Perhaps a “one timed lap penalty” where the driver can’t lap any faster than say 110% of his fastest lap in the race so far. If you pass another car by leaving the track then you still have to give back the position or you get a drive thru’ penalty.


James is there anyway to get some feedback about the rulings in Hungary because they just seem inconsistent and clearly there are alot of valid points made by fans here.- Really just to get an understanding WHY!

Seriously Perez has done no less than 5 stupid things which actually caused avoidable damage from ridiculous positions this season for which he got off Scott free..Not even a. mnetion – it’s just Bizarre ! Im sure there have been others but Perez I would say has been the worst offender in 2013.

On the flip side whilst I commend guys like Grosjean for having a go there is not doubting these ex GP2 stars still lack control during these manoeuvres – you never see this from the Alonso, Raikkonen or Hamilton- when they are passing they still have control of their equipment and are more precise.


Yes DRS is like a boring barbie doll toy.

Hopefully 2014 is back to the good ol days of turbos and less aerodynamic influence. Bring back testing also. So what if one team has more of a budget?? No restrictions on budgets also… then Lotus might have been able to keep James Allison by raising his salary. All this pinching of other teams design gurus in an era where the car counts towards 90% of the result, is depressing.


I dont think he was really to blame for the Button incident. JB should have backed off and yielded. Button made a similar move on Massa later in the race. Massa new he was never going to make it no matter how late he broke/which line he took, so let Button by.

As for the penalty for the move on Massa (running over the white lines on the exit), that was harsh. The chap didnt have much space left so had to use a bit of run off. Much different to what Seb did in Germany.

I guess it comes down to the issue of once your card is marked, there will always be more eyes watching your every little move. Just ask Lewis 😉

nicolas nogaret

that’s the most amazing comment I ever saw …a driver on his racing line should back off and give way ?


One of those rare occasions in F1 where the rules are absolutely clear and concise. Unfortunately in this case it probably isn’t in the sporting spirit. Nobody really at fault in this case.


Was a really brave overtake and the job was already done. Silly penalty for the sake of a couple of inches.


The glaring sad truth is F1 is a shadow of what it used to be, they used to be gladiators. While i totally support the push for further saftey you have to make allowances for gutsy risk takers otherwise its boring and clinical.


Since the track surrounds have now become largely tarmac the penalties make sense and are only applied when someone is overtaken or repeatedly uses the “run off”

The clash, more like crash, with Button showed the old problem of lack of peripheral vision and a rush of blood and cost Button 2 places. the finishing places should have been reversed, 20 seconds meant nothing.


And maybe some of you here are not aware of that clip : Romain Grosjean passing

www youtube com/watch?v=2IN-lIf_62I

with dot instead of blank

ps I dont know if external links are permitted


That was indeed great. RG had a great time in GP2. If he keeps his coolness and drives consistently, he might have a good time in F1.


I thought the ‘driver’ steward was there to help to give some sense in the application of the rules. It would be interesting to see how the ‘driver’ steward in this case justifies the penalties on Grosjean in passing Massa which Massa, a driver involved, thought was fair and in touching Button. The ‘driver’ steward is meant to be there to help motor racing and not in this case ruined it by slapping penalties without good sense. Perez was left without any punishment hitting Raikennon in Monti Carlo. What is happening now with this ‘driver’ steward whose suitability for future races should be looked into carefully.

Tornillo Amarillo

James, I would like to ask who are “indispensable” as a showmen in F1, drivers who must be there to attract public to circuits and TVs.

Besides VET-ALO-KIMI-HAM, I think Grosjean is one of them, and also PEREZ and HULK.

The others IMO are forgettable, are they?

Has this reasoning about the marketing of the show any place when teams consider drivers?

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