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Grosjean criticises decision to start qualifying

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Italian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Romain Grosjean has criticised race control's decision to start Italian Grand Prix qualifying on time despite heavy rain and standing water on track.

Grosjean spun out five minutes into the session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. His Haas aqua-planed off on the pit straight immediately after setting a lap time. The session was quickly red-flagged, and remained suspended for over two and half hours due to inclement conditions.

After arriving back in the pit lane, Grosjean condemned the decision to start qualifying in the first place given clearly dangerous conditions.

"I just think the conditions weren't good enough for us to go out there," he said. "We shouldn't have gone out at all, I'm pretty straightforward on that."

"I complained on the out lap saying I thought there was too much water and we couldn't see anything.

"[I was going] in a straight line, then the next thing you know you are facing the wall at more than 300 kilometres per hour," Grosjean continued.

"You cannot back off on a straight line in case someone is behind, because he won't see anything," he added. "And you can't stay flat out as you're going to lose the car."

Grosjean caught the initial twitch, but that put him out of the developing drier line and into deeper standing water.

"I won the first time and second time I lost it for no reason," he said.

“You can choose to go very slowly but it’s maybe even more dangerous. I just think we should have postponed the beginning.”

However, race director Charlie Whiting defended the decision to get qualifying underway. He pointed out that the rain had eased off when the decision was taken to start qualifying, only to pick up moments later.

“I think when we decided to go after that conditions got a bit worse,” Whiting said Whiting.

“We can look into the reasons for Grosjean crashing," he added. "But unfortunately these things happen from time to time when drivers are pushing hard."

Whiting was unable to give any clear idea when - or if - the session would resume on Saturday afternoon.

"The weather is swirling around and we can't get a good idea of what might happen," he said.

"The safety car driver still feels there might be aquaplaning on the straight, and we don't want that."

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