Handful of drivers saddened by early exits
27 May 2012 – Romain Grosjean, Kamui Kobayashi, Pastor Maldonado and Pedro de la Rosa were all early retirements from this afternoon’s Monaco Grand Prix, with the quartet getting caught up in first lap collisions at the prestigious street venue.
Grosjean’s race was claimed just seconds after the lights went out, getting squeezed between Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher. As a result, he was sent into a violent pirouette under the braking zone for Ste Devote.
"I think we had a terrible start," Grosjean explained to BBC Sport after his premature retirement. "Then I don’t know exactly what happened behind me. I need to see the replay first, but it was strange to see everybody facing me into the first corner.
"I’m very disappointed not to make the finish of what is like a home Grand Prix for me."
Kobayashi sustained irreparable damage at the first corner after his car was launched into the air, having clipped the kerbs during the Turn 1 bottleneck.
"Yeah definitely, I had broken suspension," the Japanese driver said. "It was very dangerous to continue to drive. I didn’t expect that to happen like that. The car is damaged and it was difficult to see.
Meanwhile, having started at the back of the field due to a host of Saturday dramas, Maldonado locked up and sent his Williams over the rear wing of de la Rosa's HRT, leaving both men on the sidelines.
"It was difficult to brake," said Maldonado. "I was on the dirty side and locked the fronts. Somebody crossed my line so it was a difficult moment."
Lotus, Sauber and Williams had all been strong tips for success on the streets of Monte Carlo this weekend, but felt the force of the circuit’s unpredictable nature.