Grosjean handed one-race ban

Sunday 02-September-2012 16:48

Romain Grosjean will have to watch the Italian GP from the sidelines after he was hit with a ban and a fine for causing the first-lap carnage in Belgium.

Having started eighth on the grid, the Lotus driver put the squeeze on Lewis Hamilton's McLaren on the approach for La Source and that triggered a major pile-up on the first corner.

Both Grosjean and Hamilton were forced to retire along with Sergio Perez of Sauber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was lucky to escape serious injury after the airborne Lotus went flying just a few inches past his head.

Asked after the incident who was to blame for the accident, Grosjean said: "I do not know if I moved over too quickly."

He added: "I have not seen the image, but the main thing is we are all okay."

However, the race stewards found that he was responsible and dished out a race ban as well as a 50,000 euro fine.

"Extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others," a statement read.

"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."

Although Grosjean will miss the Italian GP, Lotus can run another driver with reserve and test driver Jerome D'Ambrossio likely to take his place.

Meanwhile, Pastor Maldonado will drop 10 places on the grid at Monza next weekend after being hit with two five-place penalties for separate incidents.

The first one was for his jump start when the lights went out and the second was for causing an accident with Timo Glock at Turn 1.

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