Derek Warwick: Grosjean ban should serve as a warning to all drivers
|By Tom Mallet and Jonathan Noble||Thursday, September 6th 2012, 10:29 GMT|
Formula 1's leading drivers have been warned that none of them are above getting a race ban according to former grand prix racer and FIA race steward Derek Warwick.
Warwick suggests that the hard-line action taken against Romain Grosjean for causing a first corner crash in Belgium should act as a stark reminder to all drivers that they will be punished if they drive in a manner that the FIA deems unacceptable
In an exclusive interview with AUTOSPORT, Warwick said: "I think that all drivers have to realise that they are not beyond being disqualified for one, two, three or four races.
"If something happens that is considered dangerous then I think that the stewards should act like they did at Spa, where they got it absolutely spot on.
"Romain is a great driver; a fast driver; and a good race driver when he is clear of the first lap. But we've had 12 races now and I believe he has had seven incidents within the first lap. It [the race ban] was right.
"If I just look at Spa on its own, I think it deserved the penalty it got and if you take everything else into consideration it deserved the penalty it got."
He added: "Let's hope other people learn what can happen to them. I think that all of these drivers, and I don't care who they are - Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel - they are not beyond getting stopped for one or two races."
Jackie Stewart claims that a race ban is a much better way of getting through to a driver about his actions than being imposed with a big fine.
"I think the only thing that really gets home to a racing driver is not being allowed to race," he told AUTOSPORT. "A financial penalty? Quite frankly most of them make enough money to pay for that. It's never comfortable but it doesn't really hurt them.
"The ban really gets to the importance of it and tells them what they must not do. I think it is the correct decision. And in a way he might be lucky not to have a two-race ban because there have been too many incidents in one year."
Although refusing to name names, Warwick has suggested that there are other drivers on the grid who are more under the spotlight.
"We all want to see quick drivers. Anyone can talk to a camera or be fit or the other things you need to do to be a grand prix driver, but to be fast, not everybody can do that. We don't want to take that away from the person.
"That's what makes Lewis Hamilton so exciting to watch because he is fast, committed and controversial: all of the things we want from a grand prix driver. But there are other drivers out there who are equally fast but making mistakes."