Romain Grosjean believes the discussion surrounding blue flags in Formula One wouldn’t be happening if the performance gap between the top three teams and midfield was smaller.
Grosjean was deemed to have ignored blue flags — which are waved to tell lapped cars to move out the way when they are impeding race leaders — while battling the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin at the Singapore Grand Prix. The pair’s battling caused eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton to lose a significant amount of time and nearly cost the Mercedes driver the lead of the race to Max Verstappen.
When asked about the incident surrounding blue flags in Singapore, Grosjean said: “Let’s have a look at the bigger picture and the problem is not the blue flags, the problem is that the six cars are so much faster than the rest of the field that halfway through the race they need blue flags. If you look at a Formula 2 race, there’s no blue flag — maybe once, yes if you had a crash in lap one and there’s one car that has a blue flag but it’s not like halfway through the race you need a blue flag.
“I finished fourth in Austria, one lap down. That’s why they need blue flags. If the pace was more together, the field was more together, then there wouldn’t be any problems with blue flags.”
Grosjean’s failure to obey blue flags in Singapore resulted in him picking up two more penalty points on his superlicence, taking his tally to nine. Any driver who accumulates 12 penalty points in a 12 month period is automatically handed a one-race ban.
The Haas driver says he has no plans to change his approach despite the possibility of being hit with a ban.
“It’s Formula One and we still need to build a good performance,” Grosjean added. ”I’ll make sure that I don’t do anything silly but I will still be pushing and racing and doing my job. When you look at the points I got, some you can really explain them, some others are more questionable but here they are.
“I’m not here to crash, I’m not here to do anything silly. As I said, in Singapore, it was a tricky situation I got caught in. Sergey was six seconds slower than everyone so we were fighting and obviously the gap was big. I think it was 11 mini sectors before I let Lewis by, again it costs a lot of time but it was just the pace we were doing.
“Getting points there was harsh. I am here to race, I am here to get the Haas F1 team in fourth in the constructors’ championship so I am just going to do my best for the team and as I say, try and not do anything silly.”
Grosjean will have one of his nine penalty points deducted at the Mexican Grand Prix later next month, with a further two points set to be removed in Brazil, two weeks later.