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Grosjean edges towards race ban

NEWS STORY
17/09/2018

In the wake of a season which saw him banned for one race after causing a first corner crash which almost cost Fernando Alonso his life, Romain Grosjean famously sought the services of a sports psychologist.

It worked, for on his return to the F1 grid, for the most part the Frenchman was a changed man. However, this season has witnessed a few incidents which suggested a return to the 'old ways', though of late he seemed to have settled down a little.

However, his failure to heed the blue flags during yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix as he battled with Sergey Sirotkin, caused a major headache for Lewis Hamilton who was seeking to lap the pair, at one stage Max Verstappen almost taking the lead from the Briton as the battling Haas and Williams drivers ignored the numerous blue flags shown at them.

"Romain just completely forgot the golden rule of blue flags," said Charlie Whiting after the race. "If you're in a battle you've got to forget about your own battle and move over.

"I think he completely forgot about it," he added. "It was probably one of the worst cases of ignoring blue flags that I've seen for a long time."

The stewards agreed and determined that Grosjean had "ignored blue flags, which were shown for a significant number of corners", subsequently handing the Frenchman a 5 second time penalty and 2 penalty points, bringing his total for the 12 month period up to 9. With drivers facing an automatic one race ban on reaching 12 points, the Haas driver is on a final warning.

"I'm sorry if I blocked anyone, it was not my intention," said the Haas driver. "I believe I did my best. I was fighting with Sergey, who was playing a little bit of go-kart racing out there. I couldn't really slow down. Pierre was on my gearbox and Sergey was on my front wing. So I passed him, then as soon as I passed him, I let Lewis by."

The Frenchman's 12-month period ends after the Mexican Grand Prix, meaning he must keep his nose clean in that event, and the Russian and Japanese rounds that precede it.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Editor, 21/09/2018 19:41

"@ Cigarsmoler

Have to admit, that move Mansell made on Senna in Hungary (89), wouldn't have been quite the same if Stefan Johansson had been blue flagged... same with Zonta when Mika and Schumacher went either side of him at Spa."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Cigarsmoker, 21/09/2018 18:48

"Blue Flags are ridiculous! Let them RACE! If the Lewis Hamiltons of the world can't pass the mid-pack cars they should suffer the consequences. I was totally enjoying the fight between the three and if it caused a better race between Hamilton and Verstappen then we should celebrate not penalize. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world, let them prove it!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by PlayF1, 18/09/2018 10:38

"Blue Flags ... why?

70% of the racing must stop, to allow the top 30% to simply drive past on the racing line.

AND the 30% aren't even racing!!!
They just want the other multi-million pound race cars to simply slow down, or worse, go out on the marbles.

Isn't it time that we get rid of these Blue Flags, that simply destroy the motorsport action.

Let the race track and the race cars, present the obstacles to progression.
... and in so doing, gain overtaking battles throughout the race duration.

Lewis Hamilton would still become world champion, but we'd have a lot more fun watching him achieve it.

What benefit do Blue Flags bring to race day?

Answer: Nothing (in fact they ruin the motorsport spectacle)

Without them, we would see the lead cars under constant pressure.
There would no longer be drivers saying 'I had a bit of a boring race'.

Liberty Media claim that they want to improve the spectacle.
Getting rid of Blue Flags would, at a single stroke, provide this ... at zero cost.

It's not like there is any strong argument to keep Blue Flags.
From what people say, it comes down to the top 30% not wanting to battle with all the other cars, because they are not really racing against them.

Hahaha ... what a weak argument.

Get rid of the Blue Flags, and it would be the same rules for every car.
That would be perfect.

"

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4. Posted by Burton, 17/09/2018 21:34

"Amazingly, his team-mate races in a deliberate bumper cars racing way, continually makes contact and pushes drivers off track, overtakes beyond the white lines and nothing gets done."

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5. Posted by meatball, 17/09/2018 17:32

"the mid pack fighting was about the only interesting thing to happen during the Singapore Snooze-fest. But yeah, lets not impede Lewis. That would only make his highness unhappy. Charlie doesn't want that."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Mad Matt, 17/09/2018 12:40

"To me the three way fight they were having was one of the few interesting parts of the race. Seems a shame to punish people for racing given the paucity of such events in modern F1....."

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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