Sports / F1 driver who escaped burning car after 225-kmph crash shares video from hospital

Zoom News : Dec 01, 2020, 09:17 AM
Sports Desk: Formula One driver Romain Grosjean praised the ‘Halo’ safety device for helping him emerge from his horrific crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix during which his Haas car burst into flames.

The Frenchman slammed into a steel barrier at an estimated speed of 140mph (225kph) while exiting turn three on lap one of Sunday’s race, causing his car to split into two and the driver to remain stuck in the cockpit.

The impact immediately sent the vehicle up in flames as Grosjean somehow managed to scramble clear of the inferno almost 20 seconds later.

Dramatic scenes showed the 34-year-old leaping over a barrier and away from the burning wreckage of his car, aided by marshals and medical staff who were quick to arrive at the scene.

His Haas team later confirmed Grosjean had survived the incident relatively unscathed, only suffering minor burns.  

Later speaking from his bed at Bahrain’s BDF military hospital, the driver hailed the ‘Halo’ safety device as helping him escape a far worse fate.  

"Hello everyone, I just wanted to say I am OK, well, sort of OK," Grosjean said in a video posted on Instagram, showing his bandaged hands.

"Thank you very much for all the messages. I wasn't for the Halo some years ago, but I think it's the greatest thing that we've brought to Formula 1, and without it I wouldn't be able to speak with you today.

"So thanks to all the medical staff at the circuit, at the hospital, and hopefully I can write you quite soon some messages and tell you how it's going."

The Halo runs around the top of the cockpit of F1 cars and was a controversial addition when introduced for the 2018 season, but in Grosjean’s case it appears to have borne much of the impact when he slammed into the barrier.

After the terrifying crash Sunday’s race was delayed by 90 minutes as workers tried to repair the barrier which had been decimated by the impact from Grosjean’s car, which is registered to have been at 53G.

Immediate concern had spread around the paddock and on social media, before fears were allayed when the news filtered out that the Frenchman had emerged mostly unharmed.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who went on to win the restarted race, used the break in action to tweet his relief that Grosjean had survived, and after the checkered flag shared further thoughts on the frightening scenes.

"What a crazy day. I’m so glad that both Romain and Lance [Stroll] were able to walk away from their accidents today. I’m wishing you both a speedy recovery," the Mercedes driver wrote on social media. 

"That was a tough race overall, I’m sure the other drivers felt it too. It’s a reminder to us and hopefully to the people who are watching that this is a dangerous sport, whilst we’re out there pushing the limits. We have to respect it.

"So grateful to the marshals and medical teams for the work they’ve done to put safety first today."

Starting from 19th on the grid, Grosjean had crashed when he steered right across the track coming out of turn three, clipping the wheel of Russian driver Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri car and then spearing straight into the barrier.

Kvyat was involved in another scary-looking crash later in the race when he made contact with Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, causing the Canadian's car to flip over and land upside down. Thankfully, Stroll also walked away from the crash.