Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Stroll given penalty for “potentially very dangerous” Grosjean incident

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll has become the second driver to receive a grid penalty for impeding a rival during qualifying.

The Williams driver will be demoted three places on the grid for holding up Romain Grosjean in an incident which forced the Haas driver onto the grass approaching turn 20.

After examining broadcast and CCTV footage of the incident and speaking to both drivers, the stewards ruled Williams should have warned Stroll sooner that Grosjean was approaching.

“Stroll was on a slow lap, Grosjean on a fast lap,” the stewards explained. “Stroll was changing settings under direction of his engineer and got a very late call about Grosjean overtaking.”

“Stroll immediately moved right and off the track, but Grosjean was already outside track limits and made the decision to overtake on the right, as Stroll moved right.”

“It was obvious Stroll was not able to see Grosjean approaching in his mirrors and he stated he could not move to the left as Kvyat was passing him on that side.”

“The stewards believe Stroll did what he could in the circumstances but nevertheless this was potentially a very dangerous situation as the speed differential between the two cars was in excess of 100 kph at the apex of turn 19. The stewards believe the team should have given Stroll more advance warning that Grosjean was approaching rapidly.”

Stroll has also been given a penalty point on his licence which is the first of his career.

Grosjean’s team mate Kevin Magnussen was also given a three-place grid penalty for impeding another driver during qualifying.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 31 comments on “Stroll given penalty for “potentially very dangerous” Grosjean incident”

    1. About time for automated notification of fast approaching cars from behind. Human error will always happen.

    2. Though our youthful pretty faces belie it, Canada, like Lance Stroll and our PM Justin Trudeau, is also moving right and off the track, perennially on a slow lap.

      1. No need to bring politics into this discussion.

      2. At least we got rid of Harper and have a driver in F1 again. Cheer up man!

    3. This doesn’t make sense to me. If the stewards felt it was the team’s fault for not informing Stroll well enough, why does he get a point on his own personal license?

      1. @strontium
        Sounds like an automatic penalty to me, but I can’t find the regulations on penalty points, so I could be wrong.

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          22nd October 2017, 1:42

          According to the official F1 website

          The stewards may also impose penalty points on a driver’s Super Licence. If a driver accrues 12 penalty points in a 12-month period they will have their Super Licence suspended for one race.

          Seem like stewards’ discretion. I agree with Strontium, putting a point on Stroll’s licence was unnecessary after they have so clearly stated that he could not see Grosjean approaching in his mirrors.

          1. Yeah have to agree that seems stupid, punish someone for doing the right thing in a bad situation. Seems to me they should have docked the team a monetary penalty instead @strontium, @nase, @Sundar_Srinivas_Harish!

            1. Talk about caught between a rock and a hard place, he’s carrying out
              complicated coding instructions from his team on the pit wall, he’s already
              taking correct avoiding action from the approaching Kviat on his left. He
              then has zero awareness of Grosjean’s high speed approach to his right
              rear because his team have provided zero information. What’s he
              supposed to do…disappear ? The William’s teams top guy should be
              in the hot seat. Not, most certainly not, Stroll.

      2. I think the speed differential is the reason. Stroll was going very slow indeed. Then the cars up behind come in very quickly, catching his engineer out. So it is a bit of a mixed responsibility.

        And of course, license points awarded to the driver affect the team around the driver as well. But as this is only his first point I think it will not have consequences.

    4. If this were Vettel instead of Grosjean, Stroll would have been cleared of any fault, what blocking, what dangerous maneuver, no such thing, no way.

      1. The dangerous maneuvre was quite obvious by the near-collision at a speed difference of 100km/h.

        And I’d like to know on what basis would Stroll have not been penalised had it been a different driver behind (and specifically Vettel?)?

        1. @strontium, I do not think that he is referring to the driver behind him – I think that what he is saying is that, if it had been Vettel, or any other popular front running driver, who was in Stroll’s position and made a similar manoeuvre that forced another driver off the track, the stewards would have issued a more lenient penalty.

          We have seen the stewards make references to the championship position of drivers when issuing penalties – in this particular case, I can see why some might feel that, if it had been Vettel in Stroll’s position, they might have turned a blind eye as they might have been put under pressure not to penalise him in order to prolong the championship battle by allowing him to qualify higher on the grid.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            22nd October 2017, 15:02

            The first post is talking about if Vettel had been the one blocked, Stroll would get no penalty. The stewards would definitely penalize Stroll and reference Vettel’s position in the championship.

            If Vettel was the one blocking, they’d probably come up with some excuse not to penalize him. He violated the steering wheel rule in Malaysia but Whiting gave a “spirit of the rules” explanation for why he wasn’t penalized.

            In the British GP this year Hamilton escaped an impending penalty against Grosjean, and Grosjean remarked that it was because he was fighting for the championship.

            I have a radical alternative suggestion: championship position doesn’t factor into penalty decisions.

      2. We already know from last gp that Stroll gets cleared just aswell as Vettel from stuff like this so what are you talking about?

        1. Still hungover from the cooldown lap incident of Malaysian GP, according these people brainfarts from golden boy are not his fault.

        2. All the evidence that proved majority of the Vettel fault were shown, an jet there are people like u who claim he was a victim. Yes he was a victim – a victim of his own stupidity.

    5. Anyone have a link to a video for this? I was at the track and watching other cars at the time, can’t seem to find a video anywhere.

    6. This guy is not suitable for formula 1, he’s caused way to many incidents this year. Money can buy you an f1 seat, but it will never buy you success. Unbelievable

      1. @fish123 What? The fact that he only get his first penalty point and it was for an accident that the stewards said not really his fault is quite the proof that he is safe enough driver for F1. If you said Stroll is not suitable for F1 because he caused way too many incidents this year, then Vettel and Magnussen should’ve been booted from F1 already.

        1. @sonicslv, given that @fish123, from his previous posts, seems to be biased towards Vettel, I cannot help but feel that there might be a bit of an underlying grudge due to the clash between Stroll and Vettel on the in-lap in Malaysia.

          There are quite a few other drivers in the field who have hardly had a clean year either – Sainz, for example, has had some fairly sizeable shunts this year (such as his rather reckless move on Stroll in Bahrain or the multiple times he crashed in Japan) – yet I don’t see them getting the same level of criticism for their moves. In the case of Sainz’s move on Stroll, we even had some people trying to put the blame on Stroll for not anticipating Sainz’s dive bomb move rather than criticising Sainz for a reckless move.

      2. As long as the guy who rammed intentionally three times this year (Vettel – hitting Hamilton, Verstappen and Raikkonen and Strol) is allowed to race, than Stroll is absolutely safe since his mistakes are minor in comparison, and not intentional as Vettels were.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          22nd October 2017, 14:51

          Vettel intentionally hit Verstappen and Stroll? My goodness.

    7. Lennard Mascini (@)
      22nd October 2017, 6:17

      Even if Stroll had been warned, was there much more he could do? He moved off the bloody track to let Grosjean through! Ludicrous penalty! The only reason there was any danger or risk of collision was that Grosjean was too far wide. Otherwise he simply would have moved inside of Stroll as Stroll moved off the track, limiting both the danger and Grosjean’s lap time loss.

      1. @leonardodicappucino But Grosjean already taking evavise action and committed to run wide when Stroll moved. At that time Grosjean lap already destroyed so it’s not about Grosjean trying to salvage something and making the situation more dangerous. It’s neither driver fault.

    8. I don’t understand how can it be so difficult for the teams to give correct information regarding whether a driver behind is on a flying lap or an out lap.

    9. You’d think they teach you about this move in canadian racing school, eh? Little Sacha and Simon shouldn’t have to share the fate of little Jacques.


      Take a look at that video..

      1. Stroll is on the racing line – if he was setting up the car he should not be on the racing line. A Torro Rosso moved out of the way just behind Stroll.

      2. Romain did try to move to right, he was expecting Stroll to move left to give him way. That didn’t happen, and he moved wide in to the grass.

      3. So in a way, penalty point was fair. But what wasn’t was stewards didn’t do a good job explaining the penalty point for Stroll.

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