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F1 NEWS 

Belgian GP: Romain Grosjean accepts being banned for Spa start crash

Spa start crash 2012Romain Grosjean has accepted his one-race ban for causing the multi-car accident at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, but says the punishment is hard to take.

The 26-year-old Frenchman was banned from participating in next weekend's Italian Grand Prix and fined 50,000 after the Spa stewards concluded he caused an avoidable crash at La Source.

"When you love racing this is very hard," said Grosjean. "I accept my mistake."

Grosjean maintained he did not intend to squeeze Lewis Hamilton's McLaren towards the pitwall on the inside, prior to the contact that caused them both to collide with Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and both Saubers.

"We know that La Source is a very tough corner. It was a bit of a crazy start as well with [Pastor] Maldonado leaving [the grid early] and the Sauber [Kobayashi] smoking a lot," said Grosjean.

"I did a mistake and I misjudged the gap with Lewis. I was sure I was in front of him. So a small mistake made a big incident.

"I didn't change my line, I went from left to right. I was not really wanting to put anyone in the wall - I'm not here to stop the race in the first corner. I'm very, very sorry and I'm glad that nobody is hurt.

"But I have to say it is a very, very hard decision to hear."

Grosjean, who has been involved in seven early-race incidents this year, said he was more angry with himself than with the penalty, but added that the accidents were not all caused by over-aggression.

"I did too many," he said. "If there is more than one then that is too many, I agree. But as I say it is not always the same. It's not over-aggressive by braking 200 metres too late, it's just most of the time misjudgement of the space I have in front or the space I have on the side.

"It's true that we don't see much in the mirrors and stuff like that and it goes very quick at the start.

"I was to be honest 100 per cent sure I was in front of Lewis but I was not so I need to rethink about my view of the car.

"I am the most angry at myself to have misjudged the gap with Lewis's car."

Grosjean said that his focus now was on analysing what led to the ban and to ensure that the rest of the season continues without error, adding that he hoped it would not affect his chances of keeping his drive with Lotus in 2012.

"It is too much. I know that. Some are not my fault, but yeah I will analyse that and I will try to not repeat it in the seven last races," he said.

"For sure I don't want to do any more [crashes] by the end of the season. So I will work, I will analyse as much as I can to try and avoid those. Some were misfortune, some were my mistake but now it is time to finish that."

Daytona Competition
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