French driver Romain Grosjean will have a three-place grid penalty for Formula One’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix after triggering a multi-car collision in Spain on Sunday.
Race stewards also handed the Haas driver two penalty points.
Grosjean took out Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly when he spun his car across the track in a cloud of smoke at turn three on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix.
“He spun and it’s very unusual to see a car light up its rear wheels like that on the first lap of a race, when there’s another 10 cars to come,” race director Charlie Whiting told reporters.
Grosjean, who started 10th, told stewards he feared his momentum was going to take him to the centre of the track so he applied power to try and cross over to the right side and get out of the way of others.
“There’s not much to say. I lost the rear end in turn three and I just spun. If you look at the footage, I had wanted to avoid contact with my teammate,” said the Frenchman.
“Kevin (Magnussen) had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went. I’m sorry for the others that were involved — there wasn’t much I could do once the car went.”