Charlie Whiting says Romain Grosjean forgot the ‘golden rule of blue flags’ during the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Frenchman continuing with his own battle with Sergey Sirotkin rather than letting the leaders pass him.
Whiting, the FIA Race Director, constantly reminds drivers that it is imperative to allow the leaders through when shown the blue flags, even if they are embroiled in a battle of their own, something that Grosjean forgot as Lewis Hamilton came up behind him at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
As a result, the Haas F1 Team driver was handed a five-second time penalty during the race, which relegated him from thirteenth to fifteenth in the final result behind Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll and earned him two penalty points on his Superlicence that takes him to nine in the past twelve months, three away from an automatic one-race ban.
“Romain just completely forgot the golden rule of blue flags,” Whiting is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “And that is if you are in a battle you’ve got to forget about your own battle and move over.
“I’ve drilled that into them many times, and I think he completely forgot about it. He was so intent on his battle with Sirotkin that he just – the light panels were flashing with his race number on them – and Lewis was much much faster.
“It was probably one of the worst cases of ignoring blue flags that I’ve seen for a long time.”