Romain Grosjean had a bad day at the office at the Belgian Grand Prix today. He clouted Lewis Hamilton which sent both cars careening into Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi and more. Due to his actions, race stewards have issued a severe penalty for Monza. AUTOSPORT has the verbiage:
“The stewards regard this incident as an extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others,” said a statement from the officials.
“It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.”
“The stewards note the team conceded the action of the driver was an extremely serious mistake and an error of judgement,” it said.
“Neither the team nor the driver made any submission in mitigation of penalty.”
As we’ve discussed numerous times at F1B, the outcome is what drives the penalty and for this reason we are not likely to see consistency in steward penalties any time soon. Vitantonio Liuzzi had a similar incident and Monza a while back and took Rosberg and Petrov out of the race. Neither driver was a championship contender so a 5-place penalty was handed out. Grosjean’s action Sunday is a similar incident and because of its impact ont he championship, having taken out Fernando Alonso, a race ban is issued.
The issue was galvanizing enough to prompt Ferrari to seek driving standards with the team saying:
“In my view, the most important thing is looking at the behaviour of drivers,” he said.
“It has to start in the championships before Formula 1.
“You see it too often in the other series that drivers are very aggressive and try to do something almost over what it is possible to do, so it is important to be very strict since they start racing and then they will arrive in F1 in a better condition for that.”
What do you think? Is the penalty correct and should F1 make all incidents like this one face stiffer penalties? Is Domenicali right? Surely he is thinking of the spate of incidents from Pastor Maldonado this year as well when driver standards have been called into question. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
If there is an upside for me personally, I hope they take their option with their third driver, Jerome D’Ambrosio, as I think he needs another chance at F1.