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Grid drops galore at Monza as only four drivers start where they qualified

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A combination of wet qualifying and penalties for more than one-third of the Formula 1 field has resulted in a topsy-turvy grid for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix (NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 7am ET).

With Monza being a power-hungry circuit, teams running Renault and Honda power units have opted to take penalties for fresh parts here knowing the chances of a big result were never that good, giving themselves a boost for Singapore.

The only Renault or Honda-powered driver not taking a penalty today is Daniil Kvyat, who rises from 14th in qualifying to eighth on the official starting grid.

Here’s a run-down of who has penalties and why at Monza.

Sergio Perez
Qualified: P8
Penalty: Five places for a new gearbox
Starts: P12

Max Verstappen
Qualified: P2
Penalty: 20 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P13

Nico Hulkenberg
Qualified: P12
Penalty: 10 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P14

Carlos Sainz Jr.
Qualified: P15
Penalty: 10 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P15

Daniel Ricciardo
Qualified: P3
Penalty: 20 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P16

Jolyon Palmer
Qualified: P17
Penalty: 15 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P17

Stoffel Vandoorne
Qualified: P10
Penalty: 25 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P18

Fernando Alonso
Qualified: P13
Penalty: 35 places for new power unit elements
Starts: P19

Romain Grosjean
Qualified: P20 (allowed to start despite setting no time in Q1)
Penalty: Five places for a new gearbox
Starts: P20

Propping up the grid is Romain Grosjean, who received dispensation to race from the stewards at Monza as he failed to set a time in Q1, and therefore did not qualify.

In short, only four drivers will start where they qualified: Lewis Hamilton, Sainz, Palmer and Grosjean.

2017 Italian Grand Prix – Starting Grid

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Lance Stroll Williams
3. Esteban Ocon Force India
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
7. Felipe Massa Williams
8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
9. Kevin Magnussen Haas
10. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
11. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber
12. Sergio Perez Force India*
13. Max Verstappen Red Bull*
14. Nico Hulkenberg Renault*
15. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso*
16. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull*
17. Jolyon Palmer Renault*
18. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren*
19. Fernando Alonso McLaren*
20. Romain Grosjean Haas**

* After grid penalties applied
** Permitted to start by the stewards after failing to qualify

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.