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“He has to work on himself” Grosjean under fire as F1 stewards penalise him
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 May 2018   |  8:01 pm GMT  |  143 comments

Romain Grosjean is under a little pressure at the moment. The French F1 driver has not had a stellar start to the 2018 season, although he looked a hero in Melbourne when he went around his mechanics commiserating with them after a pair of botched pit stops cost the team a potentially huge points haul.

Three retirements a 13th and a 17th place are all he has to show from a quick car, in which his team mate Kevin Magnussen has now racked up 19 points.

Today he was held responsible by the FIA stewards for a huge accident in Turn 3 on the opening lap which took out Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg. It was a big accident with Grosjean experiencing over 20g.

The stewards found that, having lost it on the outside of the corner he “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.”

The stewards’ statement went on: “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.”

Grosjean was given a three place grid penalty for the next race in Monaco and two points on his licence. “He spun and it’s very unusual to see a car light up its rear wheels like that on the first lap of a race, when there’s another 10 cars to come,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said in a media briefing after the race.

“He (Grosjean) didn’t look great in that scenario, generally he likes spinning, but on the first lap is not a good time to do it with everyone there,” said a frustrated Hulkenberg. “I don’t know how many times he spins on a race weekend. If he does it on his own, it’s okay. But if he kicks others out of the race, it’s not okay.

“He has to look at it and do some work on himself.”

The Ferrari powered Haas F1 car is vying at most tracks with the Renault to be the fourth fastest car in the field and is therefore fighting theoretically for that position in the constructors’ championship. In fact Haas is sixth with Renault and McLaren both ahead.

“Kevin (Magnussen) had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went. I’m sorry for the others that were involved — there wasn’t much I could do once the car went, I tried to stay on throttle to spin it and at least not face a lot of people. It didn’t work,” Grosjean said after the race. “I don’t think there was anything different than that for me to do. I guess it’s quite a normal human reflex if you look at Rosberg in Malaysia in 2016 and Schumacher in Abu Dhabi in 2010.”

Grosjean is in the final year of his three year Haas contract. Whereas he took a gamble in 2016 to go there rather than stay with the Enstone team that transitioned from Lotus to Renault, now the Haas is a coveted seat in the F1 pit lane and he will need to raise his game to retain the seat.

Grosjean was running in sixth place in Baku when he lost control of his car under the safety car period, just prior to the final sprint to the finish.

Magnussen has had several strong runs this season and, although he is not every other driver’s cup of tea, he is certainly driving with confidence and getting results. Ferrari are keen for their junior driver Antonio Giovinazzi to get a race seat soon. Charles Leclerc has started performing well at Sauber and is being developed for a future Ferrari role.

What do you think of the first lap incident? What about Grosjean’s chances of keeping his Haas F1 seat next season? Leave your comments in the section below

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I think if a driver makes a really bad mistake, whether it’s Hamilton or Hartley, they should get race bans. That would be a good punishment and an excellent way to give a reserve driver the chance to drive the car.

Jay J. Hector

Romain might want to see if Jackie Stewart’s offer to coach him is still open. For all Grosjean’s faults, he is more likely to be back on the podium than Hulkenberg’s possibility of getting his first.

I think it’s come to the point for Haas that a real front-row caliber driver is now required given the current state of their car (and maintained in 2019). It would be nice to see Ricciardo in the Haas (if they would cough-up the dough) for 2019 to prepare him Ferrari-wise to join the Scuderia in 2020. I bet Daniel would be on the podium more than with Red Bull, and maybe win a race too.


I was at the 24 hours at the Nürburgring and so i was seeing the race for the first time today.

All this talk about Grosjean and his mistakes…

What about talking about the Hulk who did all right it seems? If he would have braked Grosjean’s car would have been more to the right and t-boned. And their was a chance that the car behind the Hulk could have hit him. If the Hulk would have accelerated on the grass he would probably ended with a spin himself affecting even more cars.

It was just like a roe crossing a country-road and you have to accept the hit because all other options would be more dangerous.

All this talk about race simulators: Pilots use their simulators mainly for worst case scenerarios. Drivers use their simulators as if they were alone on the track for better lap times it seems.

Each driver causing a collision should be send to worst case simulator training for 50 hours and paying all the costs himself.

Grosjean could start with paying the needed simulator.


RoGro has been and always will be, a short-sighted racer. He has no ability to undo a bad situation and has no place any longer in an F1 car. His results speak for themselves, race after race he does nothing to add to the points tally of Haas.

Darren Pritchard

Who was the race steward at CdeC?

Look at it this way , Hass cars are probably top ten qualifiers this year, grosjean penalty slaps him right into midfield. And at of all tracks MONACO , GOOD LUCK everybody .

world’s first entire grid starts from pitlane and let’s grosjean race himself, headlines Monday morning grosjean mysteriously crashes out and blames the entire grid , although video evidence shows he was all alone on track .


I think Ferrari would have an interest in seeing Leclerc in that Haas, to check him out before offering him Kimi’s Ferrari seat next season. But not sure if Haas would be willing to drop Grosjean just yet? Both Steinar and Haas himself appear very stoic and supportive of their drivers and staff no matter what happens during race weekend. Much respect for that leadership!

But getting Leclerc into that seat sooner than later would be great for both Leclerc and Ferrari.


At some point in time Haas management will realise the cold hard facts: Grosjean is costing them a lot of money as they have to repair the car every time he crashes *and* at the same time he’s costing them money in the constructors championship. It’s a double negative at the moment.

He seems like a genuinely nice guy but with this type of driving not only can he shelve his dreams of driving a Ferrari some day, he has to be careful if he will still have a drive next year. If he had managed 19 points as well like Magnussen did so far, Haas would be on 38 points, only 2 and 3 points away from Renault and McLaren, who are 4th and 5th in the constructors championship.


It’s easy to argue that the Lotus was an inferior car compared to the Ferrari at the time, still Kimi beat Alonso. Also there was a lot that indicated that Alonso would not go to Ferrari until Kimi was gone. That has been a theme song for Alonso all he’s career, dont want to face anybody potentially faster than him. Unless he get’s favours that ensures he’s faster. He thought Lewis was just an rookie easy to beat, but that was not the case, then, of course as we all know now, he then wanted Dennis to fix it, he did not.


Kimi saved Lotus, for a while, Grosean was nowhere! Now there is no Lotus no more, the year after Kimi left it was downhill


Well he’s never been a good driver. He’s “Massa” “fast”.Like Kimi, his reputation was saved/helped by that Lotus. Alonso has been both their team mates and from memory,……….. beating both on average around about 0.5 secs.


Difficult to compare after Massa had his skull smashed. We never saw Hungary 2008 type Massa again.


Kimi and Massa had similar pace when team mates?


Wasn’t Grosjean being groomed for a Ferrari seat? If so it’s a remote or non-existent proposition now. As his contract is up at the end of the year perhaps Ferrari might want to negotiate putting Leclerc into his seat should they wish to fast track his development in a better car.


i don’t understand what the fuss is all about, crashing has always been part of f1 and we have seen worst crashes than that…


Crashing like he did behind the safety car while driving around in a good points position is not what you expect from the – supposedly – cream of the crop of drivers.

That’s a big blow for a budget team like Haas.


To be fair you normally see things differently from most…..

What he did was stupid and very dangerous, that’s why it’s being debated. What if Hulkenberg had t-boned him at that speed instead of a glancing wheel blow?


I’ve only just watched the race this evening, and fully expected to read about a one-race ban and very large fine. A three-place grid penalty seems very lenient.


Think the only race grosjean and Hartley are in this year is to the job centre. Both not good enough and costing their teams millions in damaged cars and lost points.


I feel sorry for him…the car is obviously a great car. Baku was inexcusable and this was not much better. Hope he calms down and shows us his true skill…


The penalty seems a touch harsh but I guess it was the only penalty available considering he was out of the race, and he did leave a trail of carnage. I don’t really get why he didn’t continue off the track to the outside, maybe by locking the brakes and sliding out wide. I think KMag’s pushing Gasley into the wall in Baku was far more dangerous, with a relatively light penalty there – not to mention all the Verstappen shenanigans. In any case, Grosjean is not on good form, and I can see Ferrari putting LeClerc in that car for next year if Grosjean doesn’t improve substantially and LeClerc manages to keep, or improve, his current form.


Its funny why the Mag thing was more dagerous than the similar Massa against Mag last year, did you hear Mag complain? Onboard from Mag it was nothing with that mirror wobling, he was going same line as the frontrunners within 20-30cm. He was not pushing on purpose, and the screaming was not about safety, because Gasley did NOT go to Whiting when he escaped his teamate parking in the middle in quali….Why no points or whiting screaming?? Safety, no, they go for penalty point, not for safety as they claim.

THAT teammate parking was dangerous! So its only for penalty point for opponents, nothing else. Did you hear Mag scream at Whiting when ERI rammed MAG first lap last time and took away all left side?

Just like when Leclerc was complaining about the true blocking in FP3, where Mag had got a yellow flag……., and did not want to give the prep.lap to the guy behind, why should LEC not wait when Mag had to slow due to yellow flag?

Unfortunately points are more about screaming than safety, otherwise drivers like OCO, MAX & PER had a lot more points taking out teamates.

MAG do not take any out, or ram teammates ( or crash).


“Ericsson hit us”



Grosjean has been in the gravel so often lately I think he just punched the throttle because he saw a gravel pit coming at him and he just said oh s—t to himself and nailed it. I don’t think he had any intention to spin it or cross the track or anything, it was just here’s comes the gravel and down goes the right foot.

And speaking of gravel they should take the group that voted for gravel and summarily give them a long walk off the end of a short plank.

Gravel – zero braking when you’re in it, no getting out when you’re in it, pummel your zillion dollar car to crap when you’re in it, cover the track with gravel if you get out of it, ad nauseum.

Leave it paved, penalize drivers for driving on that pavement but at least give them a chance to stay in the race, if you can call having everybody except 6 cars already lapped with 20 laps still to go anything remotely resembling a ‘race’. You can’t sell very many tickets to a 4 car race.

Liberty and the FIA better rerun that ‘race’ and look at all the EMPTY grandstand seats. The fans are all saying will F1 please smarten up?


A driver making a massive mistake and then going for a leisurely drive down an aircraft runway and then being penalised for it by the stewards = fake and contrived.

A driver being penalised for his mistake by ending up beached in the gravel or by wiping a wheel off = real and honest.


He clearly has emotional problems, he’s demonstrated that often enough and most likely Grosjean thought Magnussen’s twitch which caused him to spin was deliberate and then punched the throttle out of sheer anger and loss of temper.

Quite unbelievable that the penalty is as small as a 3 place grid drop (doesn’t a gearbox change earn you 5?!). The FIA clearly have no clue how to apply meaningful penalties in proportion to the offence. The only outcome of this limp worsted non-punishment is more dangerous driving in the future.


I wholehearted disagree about gravel. Drivers should not be able to go faster and faster and run off track with no consequence until a steward penalises them. It takes away a major bit of driver skill, and is trial and error instead of skill to a large degree.

Yes, it’s not as safe, but Suzuka for instance sorts the men from the boys.

Drivers should be hero’s, not robots driving to numbers.

Tornillo Amarillo

How to explain 3-place-grid penalty for Grosjean equals the same 3-place-grid penalty for Sirotkin hitting the back of Perez’s car in Baku in lap 1?

I would decide at least 10-place-grid penalty for Grosjean.


A race ban to me seemed more appropriate!


Reminded me of Days of Thunder where there was a smokey accident and Cole was told to go high and pass right through lol…. but Hulk went low lol..


It reminds me more of “Talladega Nights”, with NASCAR drivers Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton, Jr. and the French Formula One driver making his entrance. Not sure how the roles are distributed in our Barcelona case here though. ;o)


Indeed a strange man. He seems almost mental or not really there or present sometimes. I agrre with many here that he’s fast when it works for him on his good days. And the Italian lessons, sure itäs good to prepare one self when aiming for a dream job, but was he really on Ferraris radar at any point, really? Another driver perhaps scares me more though, and it’s Magnussen. He’s ben hailed for his agressive style of driving and so on. I saw a crude driver always causing unnecessary accidents, for him self and very often for others at the same time. It’s only now the last weeks or so that he’s come under fire for that, so it’s strange to me. But it seems everybody wants these ruthless drivers nowadays more than ever, and Max is one. But with the hard racing style must also come instinctive feel, reason and most of all skill a certaint skill to drive that way Magnussen dont seem to have that, from what I see, he just wants to be a tough boy racer, which gives headlines. Personally I prefer different kind of drivers. Just think of Senna and Prost, not just a bunch of drivers competing, who is the toughest boy in town.


I dont recall MAG much taking others out of races, and I do not know. You do know how the 7 points are given?

I like his style as well as Max style, who actually takes out even teammates a couple of times, without points of course….

I think its difficult to justify Mag to be not good, and the non polite and very honest and direct style will offend a lot, but he dont care what people think, as this is their own internal bioelectrical process.

When in MaClaren, he was faster than Button until the (temporaily?) comlete radiosilence where no setting help was allowed.

In the Renault, he was faster, until mid season, where he was handed an old spec. repaired chassis for the rest of season, vs Palmers New spec…

For the fun, try to count how many times his frontwheels left tarmarc after curb on same line as others, often 3-4 times vs max 1…

In Haas he doing quite well, it must just be his style you dont like, his driving are difficult to argue compared to a lot of grey whiiners.

søren christensen

You have simply gotten older…Mentioning Senna and Prost, I believe time has blurred Your memory a bit, thinking of the quite many incidents, where these 2 were involved – of course especially Senna. Using the term “always” is very unfair towards Kmag. Yes he races hard, but it is his job to get points home for his team, and that is a tough task in the midfield.
Do You watch F1 nowadays for entertainment or for taking a nap?


Please do explain what Magnussen did that makes you compare to the driver who at 100% fault singlehandedly took out a podium fighting car in the past two races, and who never ever completes a race without contact and damage, but sometimes (like Barcelona) just hapoens to has the luck to get away with it.

Torchwood Mobile

Not just the luck.

When the stewards try and penalise Max for an infringement, eg. Austin 2017, even the good and the great of F1 (and Rosberg), jump in to defend to the little [mod]er.


Isn’t Grosjean the leader of the drivers safety group?


“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.”

These stewards amaze me….

Did they really think he was trying to go to the right side of the track? really?

Unbelievable.. To me he is trying to make the car spin around (and failed)

Who in his right mind would try or even want to cross the track with so many cars behind ??

He made a mistake for sure but the explanation of the stewards is just ridiculous.


That was Grosjean’s reasoning to the stewards they were repeating – still, to me it sounds like an insane idea no matter who came up with it or when?!


After sitting on the steps for 15 minutes that was the best he could come up with,


Ridiculous yes. But the explanation is from Grosjean himself.

Steward’s statement : “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,”

So who is ridiculous ?


And the stewards decided to hand him the 3 grid drop penalty as the telemetrics did not back up Grosjean’s claim. Based on the telemetrics they consider that Grosjean would have stayed (safely) off the side of the track if he had not decided to floor the accelerator, counter steer and plunge onto the track again in that highly dangerous move now totally out of control.


I apologize. My bad.


Didn’t Webber call him “a first lap nutcase”???


Either ban him for a race or have him start from the pits. Both of those options put him out of a potential crash with other drivers on the opening lap.

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