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June 23, 2017

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Grosjean in 1-race ban after Belgian GP crash

SPA, Belgium -- French driver Romain Grosjean has been banned for one race after causing a spectacular crash at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday that sent Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez off the track at the first corner.

Grosjean went for a small gap and clipped Hamilton's McLaren. That sent both cars spinning and led to Grosjean's Lotus flying over Alonso's Ferrari, which then took out Perez's Sauber.

"I honestly thought I was ahead of him (Hamilton) and there was enough room for both cars," Grosjean said. "I didn't try deliberately to try and squeeze him or anything like that. The first corner situation obviously isn't what anyone would want to happen."

Grosjean also crashed and all four drivers escaped unhurt.

The FIA, motor sport's governing body, says the incident "had the potential to cause injury to others."

Grosjean's Lotus team accepted the verdict and the FIA says "neither the team nor the driver made any submission in mitigation" of the penalty.

Grosjean misses the Italian GP at Monza on Sept. 9.

"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. "I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver."

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