This weekend, the young French driver was under fire again, for yet another collision on the first lap - this time, a tangle with Mark Webber into the first corner at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. And of course, out came the detractors, endlessly repeating that tired old statistic of "eight first-lap crashes this year" and calling for all kinds of fierce and terrible retribution... During his post-race interview, Webber claimed that Grosjean should have another ban from the sport, while former F1 driver and Sky Sports pundit Johnny Herbert believes that Lotus should sack Grosjean.
I've already debunked the "eight crashes this year" thing, explaining a few weeks ago how this is a false figure when not all of those crashes were Grosjean's fault, so I shan't go into that now.
I don't condone Grosjean's first-corner driving at Suzuka, even though I'm still not entirely convinced by his culpability - from some views it appears to be Grosjean's fault, but other camera angles make it look like Webber cuts across the front of Grosjean a little sharply.
I'm pleased to see not all commentators are jumping on the Grosjean-bashing bandwagon. The BBC's technical analyst Gary Anderson wrote in his column that the pressure of having to prove that he wouldn't crash got to Grosjean, and caused the incident, while Sky's Martin Brundle Tweeted that Grosjean deserves his seat in F1 next year:
@sheumais63 yes Grosjean should be in F1 2013 providing he can quickly sort this first lap issue.He's not intentionally reckless and is fast
— Martin Brundle(@MBrundleF1) October 8, 2012
But none of that is the point, really.
What concerns me is that Grosjean cannot get a fair trial any more.
People assume he is going to crash - because he's Romain Grosjean, and that's what he does. And when he is involved in an incident, people assume it's his fault. And then he gets given a harsher penalty than other drivers would receive for the same transgression.
In my view, that's not justice - or discipline. That's a witch-hunt.