Wheels24

Grosjean: Ban made me stronger

2012-09-21 08:30

SINGAPORE, Malaysia - Lotus rookie Romain Grosjean believes he will come back a stronger driver after his one-race ban for causing a dangerous pile-up in at the 2012 Belgian F1 GP.

Grosjean, ahead of the 2012 Singapore GP (where F1 will honour late safety pioneer Dr Sid Watkins), vowed to learn from Spa-Francorchamps where he crashed and dramatically flew over Fernando Alonso's Ferrari at the first curve.

STANDARDS QUESTIONED

"When you have a tough time, if you come back, you are stronger. I hope we are," said the 26-year-old Frenchman who is in his debut season. "We are professional drivers, sometimes we make mistakes. I accepted I made one, that was OK and the consequences were quite big."

The crash prompted Ferrari's team chief to call for an improvement in driving standards and left championship leader Alonso counting his lucky stars he wasn't injured by Grosjean's airborne car which scraped over the nose of his race car.

Grosjean insisted, however, that he wasn't the only driver to make a mistake in F1, which regularly sees less dramatic crashes. "It's a bit more complex than just being extra-cautious but we'll try to learn from the difficult time and improve.

"Do you think that if I'm not on the grid there won't be any crash for ever? That's a bit silly, to be honest."

Sunday's race will be preceded by a minute's applause to mark the death of neurosurgeon Sid Watkins whose innovations are credited with helping ensure F1 has not had a fatal accident since Ayrton Senna  and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger were killed in 1994.

TOUGH DECISION

His death this month (September 2012) aged 84 was greeted by an outpouring of emotion from teams and drivers, among them Rubens Barrichello whose life he saved at Imola in 1994 in the same race in which Senna was killed.

Grosjean admitted it was tough to make the right decision in a split-second in a highly competitive and stressful environment. "It's very tight between taking the right decision and taking the wrong decision. It might be a tenth of a second or less and there's a lot of stress at the start of the race.

"So, it comes with experience... to know what to do, to take the right decision, but as well with the preparation."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Singapore F1 GP weekend.

AFP