Romain Grosjean given 1 race ban. Is it fair?

4 Sep

At turn one of last weekends dramatic GP there was an almighty pile up at turn one forcing 4 drivers to retire and giving Kobayashi damage that would ruin his race, as a result of this Romain Grosjean was found to be guilty of causing the incident by the FIA and as a result of this he has been given a 1 race ban and a £40,000 fine. This decision was made due to the potential injury caused by this crash, but is it a fair decision?

At a first glance it would appear fair, I mean Alonso wasn’t far from suffering a serious – and maybe fatal – injury, but from watching replays of the crash I don’t feel Grosjean was entirely responsible for the crash and that the crash should have been put down as a racing incident.

From watching this replay it appears that Grosjean made a slight error of judgement over how close his rear right tyre was to Hamilton’s front left and that he started braking for turn 1 slightly to early, these mistakes could very easily be put down as a lack of experience and a racing incident, but due to the result of this crash the officials decided he should be banned from competing in this weekend’s Italian GP.

If that is the reason the FIA gave Grosjean the ban then they should look back  to the final race of the 2010 season to find another time when a car went over the top of the other when at turn 6 on lap 1 Adrian Sutil’s Force India went over the top of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes. This crash forced the retirement of both of the drivers and forced the rest of the field to use a different track layout for a few laps (the only change of the route was to skip the chicane where the crash happened). As a result of this crash – which like Grosjean’s could have caused a serious injury – Sutil received no disciplinary action, whilst Grosjean’s similar crash has given him a one race ban and a £40,000 fine, this shows a lack of consistency from the FIA, something many fans have repeatedly criticised the FIA for.

Despite the unfairness of the decision it has happened now and Renault will have to field a different driver for the team this weekend, here are some of the main contenders:

Jerome D’Ambrosio: current Lotus reserve driver.

  • Jerome was the second driver for Marussia last season and the young Belgian put in a solid rookie season which didn’t merit being dropped from the team.
  • Positives: He’s had lots of experience with the team in pre season testing and drove all season last year. He’s highly regarded and he could pick up points for team.
  • Negatives: He’s never driven a competitive car in race conditions before.
  • Chances: 8/10

Nick Heidfeld: drove for Lotus (who were Renault) for the first half of last season.

  • Nick put in consistent performances for Renault last season including a podium in the second race of the season in Malaysia.
  • Positives: Nick’s a consistent performer and is likely to put in a good performance and pick up points.
  • Negatives: Was dropped last season for not being good enough, he’s unlikely to have got better over the past year and is famous for being the driver to hold the record for the most races (and points) without a win.
  • Chances: 4/10

With such short notice it is very unlikely that Lotus wouldn’t choose D’Ambrosio for the coming weekend and it should provide us an good insight to how good Jerome can be with a competitive team.



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