Formula One

 
           === Grosjean handed one-race ban for Belgian GP wreck ===
 
 Spa,  Belgium  (Sports  Network)  -  Lotus driver  Romain  Grosjean  has  been
 suspended  for next  weekend's Italian Grand Prix in Monza after race stewards
 determined  he was responsible for causing a multi-car accident on the opening
 lap in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.
 
 Formula  One's  governing body,  the FIA,  issued Grosjean  a one-race ban and
 fined him $62,503 (50,000 Euros) for the incident.
 
 Grosjean  and Lewis  Hamilton from  McLaren  made tire  contact when  Grosjean
 attempted  to  jump ahead of  Hamilton at the start  of the 44-lap Belgian GP.
 Hamilton  then  hit the  rear of  Grosjean, who  sailed into Fernando Alonso's
 Ferrari. Sergio Perez from Sauber was also involved in the accident.
 
 In  it's decision  to issue the penalties  against Grosjean, the FIA said in a
 statement,  "The stewards  regard this incident as an extremely serious breach
 of  the regulations  which had  the potential  to cause  injury to  others. It
 eliminated  leading  championship contenders from  the race. The stewards note
 the  team  conceded the action of  the driver was an extremely serious mistake
 and an error of judgement. Neither the team nor the driver made any submission
 in mitigation of penalty."
 
 Grosjean,  who  placed last in  the Belgian GP,  took blame for triggering the
 incident.
 
 "When  your life is  all about racing, not being allowed to attend an event is
 probably  one  of the  worst experiences  you can  go through," Grosjean said.
 "That said, I do respect the verdict of the stewards."
 
 There  were no  injuries. Alonso,  though, appeared  to be  shaken up  when he
 slowly  climbed  out of his damaged  car. Grosjean, Alonso, Hamilton and Perez
 failed to complete one lap.
 
 "This first corner situation obviously isn't what anyone would want to happen,
 and  thankfully, no one  was hurt in the incident," Grosjean added. "I wish to
 apologize  to the drivers  who were involved and to their fans. I can only say
 that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver."
 
 Alonso  came  to Belgium with a  40-point lead. But Sebastian Vettel's second-
 place run allowed the Red Bull driver and two-time defending F1 world champion
 to move within 24 points of Alonso.
 
 Jerome  D'Ambrosio is  Lotus' reserve  driver and  will likely  substitute for
 Grosjean in the Italian GP.
 
 
 09/02 16:33:38 ET

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