The GP2 cars took to the track after qualifying for today’s Monaco Grand Prix and once again provided a talking point for the rest of the paddock.
This time it was after a frightening accident which saw Renault F1 team test driver Romain Grosjean hurtling high into the barriers at Tabac.
The massive crash, triggered when series leader Grosjean made contact with Andreas Zuber’s car, brought the race to an early halt.
Zuber had made a mistake at the harbour front chicane, allowing Grosjean to make a passing attempt at Tabac. Zuber covered the inside of the corner, then moved back towards the racing line. Grosjean, who was also moving towards the racing line, clipped the rear of Zuber’s car, sending his car into the air.
The Addax car landed in the barriers, narrowly missing the camera man who filmed the dramatic footage above.
Grosjean mercifully escaped without injury. He was very lucky.
But questions must be asked of the lengths drivers are allowed to go to defend their positions. As has been discussed many times on this blog in the past, the present arrangements allows the leading driver a great many advantages in defending their lead – even allowing them to run other drivers clean off the track without punishment.
Zuber moved off-line once to defend his position, and was moving back towards the racing line when contact was made. Again, this has been allowed many times in the past in GP2, F1 and similar series, despite the enormous potential for dangerous accidents such as this.
As long as such driving is permitted, crashes like this are inevitable. And in the close confines of circuits like Monaco, it invites accidents like this which could have much worse consequences. This was a lucky escape.