If there’s one circuit where you absolutely, positively, definitely don’t want to get some sort of grid penalty, it’s Monaco, where overtaking is all but impossible. But for Romain Grosjean, that’s exactly what he’ll have to deal with as a result of causing the first lap crash in Spain.
He’ll drop three places from wherever he qualifies around the Principality and has also been given two penalty points on his super licence, taking his 12-month total to five. Hey, at least he’s scoring points somehow…
The stewards decided to penalise Grosjean because of his decision to floor it in the middle of the spin, sending his Haas across the circuit, creating a massive smokescreen, and wiping out Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly in the process. The stewards’ statement read:
“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.”
Grosjean said he did all he could and that applying more throttle was a “normal human reflex”. Gasly disagreed, saying he could have braked, whilst Hulkenberg… well, he’s already had his say.