Pundits unsure of Grosjean solution
Sky Sports F1's pundits fear there may be no solution to Romain Grosjean's controversial driving in wake of the Frenchman's latest first-lap clash in Japan.
Last Updated: 07/10/12 9:06pm
Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle fears there may be no solution to Romain Grosjean's much-criticised driving in the wake of the Frenchman's seventh first-lap collision of the season at the start of the Japanese GP.
The Lotus driver was once again found to be on the receiving end of a barrage of criticism after running into the back of the front row-starting Red Bull of Mark Webber at the second corner, spinning the Australian round and in effect wrecking his race.
In interviews with Sky Sports F1 in the immediate aftermath of the race, Webber called Grosjean a "nutcase" and called for a repeat of the ban the 26-year-old received last month while his team boss Christian Horner described the Frenchman's first-lap move as "crazy". McLaren's Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, meanwhile, labelled the incident as "classic Grosjean".
Discussing Grosjean's driving during Sky Sports F1's post-race analysis, Brundle suspected that while Webber, and the two cars ahead of him, were navigating the second corner fairly cautiously, Grosjean had been too distracted by Sergio Perez trying to overtake him round the outside and simply took his eye off the Red Bull.
However, Martin also added that the sheer number of similar incidents Grosjean has been involved in this year suggested that the Frenchman may be fundamentally flawed in such situations, making any road to redemption difficult to determine.
"Mark was quite slow in turn two but he was keeping the pace of the two cars in front of him. Grosjean's full attention clearly went to stopping the Sauber coming past him and forgot about the car in front," Martin said.
"But these things don't happen by coincidence, his judgement is clearly wrong in close combat and I don't know what he can do about it because it's such an instinctive thing down there [in racing situations].
"You can't consciously start making decisions. And then when you start getting tense about that, it's all the more likely to happen."
After causing the first-corner pile-up at Spa last month which removed four cars - including championship leader Fernando Alonso - from the race, paddock observers had hoped that suspending Grosjean for the Italian GP would serve to teach the Frenchman a lesson and make him adopt a more measured approach at the start of races.
But with the latest incident already leading to accusations that the former GP2 Champion still hasn't changed his ways, Sky F1's Anthony Davidson and Johnny Herbert believe it is now up to Grosjean's fellow drivers to speak up in order to to educate him.
"I don't know what can be done," Anthony said. "A one-race ban wasn't enough so I think it's up to the drivers and the GPDA and his team as well, because you don't want that happening all the time when he's one of your drivers."
Johnny concurred, saying: "I don't think there is anything he can do because he just keeps on repeating it. What partly annoys me it seems to always go to the FIA and they all leave it to them to decide, but to me the drivers now, the GPDA, should sit him down and absolutely have a right go at this guy."
For his part, Grosjean appeared contrite after the race and stressed that he has been trying to stay out of trouble at the start of races.
"After the ban I'm very careful at the start. I kept my line trying to avoid any contact with Perez who was on my left and didn't see the delta speed with Mark," Romain told Natalie Pinkham.
"[I did] nothing special. Just trying to avoid any contact was my main objective and, yeah, it didn't work. It was a stupid clash."