Because reasons matter too

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Sorry about the dust.  I’ll tidy up in a bit, I promise.

I’ve been moved to write to you all again by Romain Grosjean’s ban, incurred for causing an avoidable, spectacular and potentially lethal shunt during the field’s first trip through La Source in yesterday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

I’m not against the ban.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  The message needs to be given, not just to Grosjean but to those climbing the ladder, that motor sport is dangerous and that drivers should appear at least a tiny bit aware of that danger.  Anyone who wishes to question the wisdom of that idea would do well to watch a recording of a GP3 or Formula 3 race and then, once you’ve managed to prise your fingers away from your eyes and convince yourself everything’s going to be fine, come back and let me know what you thought of it.  The example set by such leading lights as Senna, Schumacher and latterly Vettel has led those climbing the ladder to lose sight of what constitutes dangerous driving, not just at the start of races but throughout their distance; anything that brings that back into focus is worth applauding.

The team aren’t against the ban either, at least not publicly.  Here’s an excerpt from an FIA statement:

“The stewards regard this incident as an extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others.  It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race. 

“The stewards note the team conceded the action of the driver was an extremely serious mistake and an error of judgement. Neither the team nor the driver made any submission in mitigation of penalty.”

Fair enough.

Hang on, though.  It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.”  This is undeniably true – it removed Lewis Hamilton from contention and came within an ace of removing Fernando Alonso’s head from his shoulders – but unless you’re wanting people like me to infer that Grosjean wouldn’t have been penalised had he hit Petrov and Karthikeyan in the same petrifying fashion, it’s absolutely not the kind of thing you should be putting in an official statement.

You might also be tempted to wonder why, if Romain Grosjean causing an accident merits a ban, Pastor Maldonado deliberately using his car as a weapon on two separate occasions doesn’t.  The stewards change from event to event, as does the driver appointed to assist them in their decision making.  Nigel Mansell was the driver for both of Maldonado’s efforts while Eliseo Salazar made his stewarding debut this weekend, so the inconsistency must stem from Mansell and Salazar having slightly different views on what it’s like to be attacked by another racing driver.

Yes, I’m going to link to it.  Of course I’m going to link to it.


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