Lauda backs ban for Grosjean
3 September 2012 – Niki Lauda has supported the FIA’s decision to ban Romain Grosjean from the Italian Grand Prix. The Franco-Swiss triggered the start crash in Belgium, moving over on Lewis Hamilton which took out several drivers including Fernando Alonso.
In the minutes which followed the race, claims circulated the paddock – many from Italian and Spanish members of the press – that Hamilton was to blame for the incident. When talking on the BBC F1 Forum, triple World Champion Lauda was not mixing his words.
“I’ve never seen such a stupid accident as that from Grosjean,” the Austrian said bluntly. “Honestly, Alonso’s head nearly touched with the car. If I would have to make a decision, I would stop him (Grosjean) for two races to make him start thinking. This was the most dangerous act he had ever done and it was the seventh time this year. In Monte Carlo he did the same thing. It was very clear and Hamilton had nothing to do with it.”
In 1976, Lauda came perilously close to losing his life in a crash at the German Grand Prix, after which he was trapped inside his burning Ferrari for several minutes.