Romain Grosjean is on “thin ice” in F1 because his outstanding penalty points put him close to a race ban, says Haas boss Guenther Steiner.
The Frenchman is now saddled with nine penalty points and if he gets three more that would result in a race ban. He was penalised three points in Singapore for ignoring the blue flag.
If a race driver gets 12 points within the rolling period of 12 months, he will be banned from the next race. Of his nine points, one point will drop after the Mexican GP at the end of October. So the Frenchman needs to be extra cautions to ensure he does not get any more penalty points in the next three races.
“He should be very careful – but I think he knows that,” said Steiner.
“We are getting close and are on thin ice at the moment I would say with that one – and for a few races as well.
“The first one [point] going away is [after] Mexico.”
Since its introduction in 2014, none of the drivers have faced a race ban due to penalty points. Grosjean was the last driver to get a race ban in 2012 when he was found guilty of causing a start-line pile-up at Spa in 2012.
And he now back in a similar situation.
“It’s Formula 1 and we still need to deliver good performance. I’ll make sure I don’t do anything silly, but I will still be pushing and racing and doing my job,” said Grosjean.
“When you look back at the points I got, some you can really explain, some others are more questionable.”
He added: “I’m not here to crash, I’m not here to do anything silly. In Singapore, it was a tricky situation I got caught in.”
When asked what he thinks of the penalty system, Grosjean replied: “I’m happy not to judge some situations.”
For now Grosjean simply has to keep his head down and nose clean for the rest of the weekend. To be honest, it would be awkward for him to be the first driver to get a race ban after the system was put in place following his own actions.