Romain Grosjean to race in Korea despite calls for ban over Suzuka crash
Last Updated: 09/10/12 1:44pm
Romain Grosjean will race for Lotus this weekend in Korea despite calls for the Frenchman to be handed his second race ban of the season in the wake of his first-lap crash in Japan.
Having become the first driver in almost two decades to be suspended after instigating a five-car pile-up at the start of September's Belgian GP, the Lotus driver became embroiled in yet another race-wrecking incident when he rammed into the back of Mark Webber's Red Bull.
The youngster was widely castigated after the race, with an understandably aggrieved Webber labeling the 26-year-old as a "nutcase" and his team boss, Christian Horner, describing the botched move as "crazy".
Even McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh, whose team were inadvertent beneficiaries from Webber's luckless demise, felt moved to brand the incident as "classic Grosjean".
However, despite calls for a second suspension, it has now been confirmed that retrospective sanctions cannot be imposed after the Suzuka race stewards punished Grosjean's latest offence during the race itself.
'The stewards imposed a 10-second stop-and-go-penalty on him during the race after his clash with Webber, and there is no facility to reopen such incidents after they have been dealt with,' reports The Independent.
Yet it remains to be seen whether Grosjean will receive a hefty dose of peer pressure to mend his ways during Thursday's drivers' briefing when the sport reconvenes in Korea later this week - a prospect that Sky Sports F1 pundit Anthony Davidson has already made clear he would welcome.
"I don't know what can be done," Anthony said during coverage from Suzuka. "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."
Team Principal Eric Boullier confirmed the team have held talks with Grosjean in an attempt to bring an end to his first lap incidents, but says other drivers are putting undue pressure on the Frenchman.
"We could see in Singapore, when Romain was back after his race ban, that some other drivers were putting extra pressure on him at the start," Boullier said.
"In Suzuka, Romain made a small mistake by misjudging his pace relative to Mark [Webber], which was a bit higher. We have sat down and spoken. We understand what has to be done. I think in Singapore to an extent and in Suzuka he was almost trying to overcompensate by focusing on staying out of trouble, which in the last race had the opposite effect."