Grosjean accepts ban and apologises to rivals
2 September 2012 – Romain Grosjean has accepted his ban from next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, despite admitting that the stewards’ decision is one of the ‘worst experiences you can go through’. The Franco-Swiss came under major fire from rivals and the media at Spa after squeezing Lewis Hamilton onto the grass and causing a multiple collision which took out Fernando Alonso, both Saubers and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado.
Shortly before 7pm local time (BST +1) in Belgium, Lotus released their customary post-race press release which included the following quote from Grosjean:
‘When your life is all about racing, not being allowed to attend an event is probably one of the worst experiences you can go through. That said, I do respect the verdict of the stewards. I got a good start - despite being disturbed by Pastor’s early launch, which I think was the case for everybody at the front - and was heading into the first corner when the rear of my car made contact with the front of Lewis’s.
I honestly thought I was ahead of him and there was enough room for both cars; I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that. This first corner situation obviously isn’t what anyone would want to happen and thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident. I wish to apologise to the drivers who were involved and to their fans. I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver.’
The team added that it will not be appealing the decision of FIA stewards including ex driver Eliseo Salazar. It will confirm Grosjean’s Monza replacement ‘as soon as possible’; this is more than likely to be Belgian reserve driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio.