Romain Grosjean will drop three places on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix after stewards penalised him for causing the lap one, turn three collision that saw himself, Nico Hülkenberg and Pierre Gasly all retired from the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Haas F1 Team driver lost control as he followed team-mate Kevin Magnussen around the long third turn of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya but as he attempted to recover, he lit up the rear tyres and ran across the circuit, leaving both Hülkenberg and Gasly with nowhere to go but straight to the scene of the accident.
Stewards rejected Grosjean’s reasoning that he had no option but to spin across the track, and slapped him with the grid drop for the next round around the streets of Monaco, which will hit him harder being at a venue traditionally extremely difficult to overtake.
“The Stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the driver of car 8, Romain Grosjean and the team representative,” read the statement from the FIA.
“Car 8 was following Car 20 at the exit of Turn 2 when Car 20 had a momentary loss of control. Car 8 avoided Car 20, which caused him to lose control of the car to the left of the track at the entry to Turn 3.
“The driver explained to the Stewards that he felt that his momentum was going to carry him to the centre 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.
“However, while crossing, he moved into the line of Car 27 and Car 10, and all three cars were involved in a collision that took them out of the race.
“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.
“The Stewards therefore chose to penalise the driver.”
The incident also saw the Frenchman handed two penalty points, bringing his total to twelve for the past twelve months. Drivers will be hit with an automatic one-race ban if they were to attain twelve penalty points.