First lap retiree Romain Grosjean will arrive at the Monaco Grand Prix with a three-place grid penalty after his clumsy accident during the first stages of the Spanish Grand Prix that led to the retirements of Nico Hülkenberg and Pierre Gasly.
The Frenchman fell short on the low-grip track conditions after rain earlier in the night washed away all the rubber on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya track surface.
Starting from just inside the top-ten, Grosjean chose the outside line at the sweeping right-hander of Turn 3 before getting distracted ahead by teammate Kevin Magnussen sliding across the track. Grosjean’s sudden movement sent his car out of control, running wide before trying to catch it back by keeping the throttle down and applying opposite lock.
His attempt would prove costly as he darted back on to track into the path of the midfield causing a smoke screen as he kept the loud pedal down, spinning up the rear tyres.
“There’s not much to say. I lost the rear end in Turn 3 and I just spun,” spoke Grosjean after the incident. “Kevin had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went.
“I’m sorry for the others that were involved – there wasn’t much I could do once the car went.”
Unfortunately, Hülkenberg and Gasly were in the wrong place at the wrong time, collecting Grosjean and subsequently retiring from the race due to damage. Other drivers were forced to run over debris caused by the trio, but no one was reported to have a puncture.
“The crash with Romain at the start was a big mess,” added a frustrated Gasly after arriving back to the paddock.
“I saw some space on the inside with Nico and I tried to cut the corner as much as possible, but suddenly he came back completely towards us. It took both Nico and myself out.
“The impact was big but I am fine, I’m just disappointed to be out on Lap 1 because you work all weekend for the race and the chance to fight for points, but the excitement ended pretty quickly.”
Sergey Sirotkin, starting from the rear of the grid, almost came to a complete stop after taking caution when the Williams driver arrived into the smoke screen.
Local hero Fernando Alonso was also lucky to avoid the carnage after already running wide into Turn 3 and driving around the outside of Grosjean’s out-of-control Haas.
Grosjean, who also retired from the preceding Azerbaijan Grand Prix by crashing behind the Safety Car, additionally received two penalty points on his super license.
Image via LAT