Romain Grosjean was left angered by the decision to start Formula 1 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix in heavy rain after crashing out five minutes into the session while driving in a straight line.
Qualifying began at Monza as planned at 2pm local time despite the final F1 practice session of the weekend being limited to just 16 minutes of green flag running earlier in the day.
Nine drivers were able to complete a flying lap, but a number reported low visibility, with Grosjean calling conditions “dangerous” over team radio.
Moments later, the Frenchman speared into the wall on the main straight after trying to apply the throttle, bringing out a red flag. A lengthy delay followed, with qualifying yet to resume at the time of writing.
“I’m gonna try to be calm, and not say anything I may regret. We shouldn’t have launched qualy,” Grosjean told NBCSN.
“From the out lap on, I complained it was too dangerous. We couldn’t see where we are. I wasn’t the only one. Clearly crashing in a straight line shows the car couldn’t take it, and there was too much water.
“I’m disappointed that we started in these conditions. You can’t do anything. But you can’t back off. If there is someone behind you, they’re straight in your back. You don’t know what’s in front.
“We should have waited. It felt alright at the first lap. The rain came stronger on the second lap to push. We knew we’d have more aquaplaning with the tires. It was fine. Brand new tarmac. It was too dangerous.”
Grosjean felt the decision to start qualifying went against the FIA’s recent push to improve safety standards with concepts such as the Halo and stricter yellow flag rules.
“I think FIA brings safety, and you have to slow down a lot for yellows, Halo is coming in…” Grosjean said.
“But launching a qualy which shouldn’t have taken place, or at least after the out lap, I believe the decision should have been made differently.”