Romain Grosjean may not be racing this weekend, but his name was still triggering a lot of conversation at Monza on Thursday.
Lotus’ Frenchman is serving a one-race ban for the Spa crash a week ago, and most paddock pundits believe the FIA is also ready to clamp down on Pastor Maldonado’s shaky driving in 2012.
The Venezuelan will already serve a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday’s grid.
“This year the stewards seem to be harder, not just for me but generally,” the Williams driver is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “We have to respect that and adapt to it.”
Mentioning Grosjean or Maldonado’s names to pundits throughout the Monza paddock, and the answer is unanimous: ‘Aggressive’.
“It is one of my characteristics, some like it; some don’t,” Maldonado said. “It’s difficult to say ‘now I will get this style or I will change that’. I need to think more and evaluate more the situation in the car,” he acknowledged.
Some think Grosjean’s ban is harsh, some say fair, but it is unanimously agreed that the FIA is laying down the law about those sorts of incidents needing to stop.
“Yes, there have been a lot of mistakes this year; things that you just wouldn’t imagine happening at this level,” Spa winner Jenson Button told F1’s official website. “Maybe this is a good thing to show people that it won’t be tolerated because we are still racing in a dangerous sport.”
Like it or not, it is believed that further action in the area of driving cockpit protection is now inevitable.
The paddock is split.
Michael Schumacher told German reporters that he thinks a forward roll-hoop or a canopy – whatever solution – “must be the future”.
Sebastian Vettel is less enthusiastic, but he agrees: “It is probably unavoidable now. I’m not a big fan of it, but probably if you had the chance to choose in the moment when someone comes flying at you, everybody chooses the closed option. Therefore it will not take too long before we have it.”