5 Current F1 drivers with the most first lap retirements
The opening lap of a Grand Prix is arguably the most exciting portion of a Formula 1 race. It includes intense action and high drama at the front, and the back of the grid as every driver tries his best to gain places before completing the first corner.
However, at times, things do not go according to plan, which results in massive pile-ups and collisions, forcing multiple drivers to retire in the very first lap. Failure in the power delivery system or a mechanical failure when the lights go green are other common reasons for opening lap retirements.
No matter what the reason, a retirement in the very first lap of a Grand Prix is very disappointing as the drivers' progress throughout the weekend comes to an abrupt halt.
The current Formula 1 grid has a host of drivers who experienced the disappointment of first lap retirements and let us look closer at the current line-up's five drivers with the most first lap retirements.
#5 Romain Grosjean - 7 retirements
Romain Grosjean kicks-off the list with seven retirements to his name. Throughout his career, the French driver has been involved in multiple first lap crashes that resulted in immediate retirements. The first lap collision at the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix is the most recent example of the same.
Grosjean holds a record of first lap retirement in his second Formula 1 Grand Prix. That collision stirred up controversy as the Frenchman rammed the back of the Championship leader - Jensen Button's car in the first lap, causing immediate retirements for both the drivers.
The 2012 Formula 1 season saw the French driver retire a record eight times - twice in the very first lap; once at the Monaco Grand Prix and once at the Belgian Grand Prix. Interestingly, this was Grosjean's second inaugural lap retirement at the Spa Francorchamps circuit.
Romain Grosjean managed to avoid any first lap retirements in 2013 and 2014; however, the 2015 season was not kind to the Frenchman, which saw him suffer two opening lap retirements at Albert Park and Silverstone.
The 2017 Russian Grand Prix's opening lap crash involving Palmer and the Frenchman is yet another first lap retirement for Grosjean.