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Grosjean penalised for Valencia sprint crash

Romain Grosjean will have to take a ten-place hit on his grid position at the next GP2 round at Silverstone, following an early crash in Sunday's Valencia sprint race.
Dams driver Romain Grosjean will lose ten grid positions for the start of the feature race at Silverstone in two weeks time, after being found to be responsible for causing an avoidable collision at the start of the Valencia sprint race on Sunday.

Grosjean - who is the points leader in the GP2 championship coming out of this weekend's fourth round of the 2011 season - collided with Sam Bird as the cars went through turn 3 and Grosjean found himself sandwiched in between Bird on the right hand inside line and Davide Valsecchi on the outside.

The contact briefly lifted Grosjean's car into the air, and caused Bird to miss his braking point and catch the back of Valsecchi's AirAsia team mate Luiz Razia directly ahead who was battling for second place with eventual race winner Esteban Gutierrez. The contact damaged Bird's front wing and left him struggling for the rest of the race, even after the wing was changed in the pits.

Grosjean also paid for the contact when he went on to spin in turn 5, stalling on the apex of the exit and collecting Charles Pic and Rodolfo Gonzalez when they had the misfortune to be the first cars to arrive on the scene and had insufficient time to avoid the stationary Dams car. The three-car wreck required the crane to come on to the track to remove them, and the race was placed under a safety car as a result.

The stewards took the decision that this had all stemmed from Grosjean's attempt to try diving between Valsecchi and Bird at the earlier corner, and duly handed him the ten-place grid penalty for the next GP2 race - which will be the feature race at Silverstone in the Great Britain round on 8-10 July.

The penalty will make it difficult for Grosjean to hold on to the series lead through the next round, as he has only a single point advantage over Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde, who was one of the most consistent performers at Valencia with a second and third place in the feature and sprint races.

Valsecchi and Bird - the two cars involved in the incident for which Grosjean was penalised - are four and seven points behind Grosjean respectively and also stand to gain from Grosjean's Silverstone handicap.

No other penalties were announced after the sprint race, unlike the busy period following the feature race which saw grid penalties handed to four different drivers for four different incidents - including one for Grosjean's Dams team mate, Pal Varhaug.



Related Pictures

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Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams). Round 4. Valencia Spain. 24th June 2011. Friday Qualifying. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
The accident at turn 2 sees Romain Grosjean (the #11 yellow car third from the right) squeezed between the #9 iSport of Sam Bird (left) and the #27 AirAsia of Davide Valsecchi, while ahead of them is eventual race winner Esteban Gutierrez in the Lotus ART #6. Valencia, June 2011. [Photo credit: Charles Coates/GP2 Media Service.]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates in parc ferme after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) & Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) on the feature race podium at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates win with his father Jonathan at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014.(Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates victory at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Newly-crowned 2014 GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in Parc Ferme at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) takes the flag as he wins race 1 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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