Charlie Whiting: Romain Grosjean's flying bodywork was dangerous
While everyone agreed that last Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the best races for a very long time, a fair amount of the in-race entertainment came from the way that Romain Grosjean’s Haas VF-17 started to deconstruct itself during the race.
Grosjean didn't appear to make contact with another car and the damage to the Hass was not immediately apparent. Only later in the race did fans and viewers at home see large parts of the turning vanes around the sidepods flying high into the air as the cars raced down the main straight.
Whilst nothing was immediately said during the race and the stewards deciding not to show the #8 a black and orange flag (driver to report to his pits as his car is mechanically unsafe), FIA Race Director (and Safety Delegate) Charlie Whiting has now spoken out on the matter ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
"It's potentially dangerous, I agree," Whiting said of Grosjean’s Haas. "When anything comes off the car it's potentially dangerous but with all this so called furniture, as some people call it, it doesn't take much to make it weaker. Contact will probably make it weaker then it will start to disintegrate, which is what happened with Grosjean.
"One bit fell off; luckily it went onto the grass. A couple of more bits came off and on their third pit stop they removed another bit. It's not very satisfactory to be quite honest and I think we really need to make sure all these things are well attached, as there's so many of them. I mean, some of the stuff that comes off, even if it's not very big could do a lot of damage."
The matter will be sure to be on the agenda during the weekend, both during the obligatory driver briefing ahead of the race as well during any briefings made by the race stewards, headed up this weekend by former Tyrrell F1 driver and IndyCar 500 winner Danny Sullivan.