Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is unhappy with the decision to hand Romain Grosjean a grid penalty as a result of the crash he trigged in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Grosjean lost control at Turn 3 on the opening lap of the race and spun across the track, but kept his foot on the throttle in an attempt to get out of the way of the cars behind him. In doing so, Grosjean created a huge amount of tire smoke that unsighted drivers and he also spun backwards into Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly, ending their respective races.
The stewards opted to give Grosjean a three-place grid penalty for the Monaco Grand Prix for the incident, but Steiner argues there was little his driver could do to avoid contact once he was spinning in the middle of the track.
“He tried to get out of the way, that is his explanation,” Steiner said. “He tried to get across the track to get out of it and he hit two. He was turned and he said ‘I had a decision to make, do I stand still or do I go through?’ He went through and he knocked two out. If he had stood still maybe he would have knocked five out, we don’t know.
“It’s never a good position to be in, the middle of a car track, whatever you do. For me it’s a start incident and whatever you do afterwards will be wrong. If you go back into the track into the middle, you try to get out of it somehow, I don’t know what would have happened if he had stayed in the middle taken five cars out. Maybe they would have liked that better?
“I think it’s one of those things. And he didn’t do anything at the start, he didn’t try to brake late or understeer into anyone. His car spun around. Yes, it doesn’t look good when you accelerate when are in the middle of the track, but it’s a millisecond decision what you need to make and he made the decision to run across.
“I feel sorry for them that they were taken out but he didn’t try an overtaking maneuver to take them out or understeer into anything. At the moment his reputation is not the highest one to do things he shouldn’t be doing, so maybe he’s an easy target.”