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Romain Grosjean handed one race ban after first lap crash in Spa // The Lotus drivers penalty seems just, but is it fair he is the only one?

Published by Christine

A few weeks ago in Feet Up Friday, I pondered whether Romain Grosjean was a little bit like Pastor Maldonado, having caused a few crashes that have impacted on other drivers. At the time, I concluded that at least his were crashes of inexperience rather than recklessness, and he was willing to accept blame afterwards - whereas a certain Williams driver would not.

Today, Romain caused the ultimate pile up at the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix, taking out three other cars. It was a stupid move off the line, chopping Lewis Hamilton and leaving the McLaren driver with nowhere to go. It was a dangerous accident, and the outcome could have been a lot worse. The FIA have handed Grosjean a one race ban, meaning he will miss next week's Grand Prix at Monza.

Grosjean the spectator
Grosjean the spectatorCredit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT

This makes a lot of sense - extra care is always required at the start of a Grand Prix and he took many of the leading championship contenders out of the action before turn one.

My only question is how it's possible that Grosjean is the first driver to be handed a race ban this season? Pastor Maldonado has made as many, if not more, reckless moves and has also knocked out championship contenders by putting his car in a crazy position. It was, after all, Maldonado who all the other drivers were being warned to avoid over their team radio during yesterday's qualifying.

We've seen it time and again, Williams missing out on points, drivers questioning his ability, everyone sure it is dollars and not driving skill keeping the man in a seat.

I've been a fan of Grosjean this season, and his actions today make my fickle heart question that a little bit. I can't defend him at all. Even the team did not submit anything in defense of their driver's actions. But if a serious "error of judgement" was made here by the Frenchman, then surely many errors of judgement have been made elsewhere in the field.