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Romain Grosjean was first taken away in an ambulance Zoom
At 11:30 p.m. local time, team boss Günther Steiner spoke to some media representatives for the first time in a reasonably relaxed manner, as is customary at these times via Microsoft teams meeting. The question naturally arose as to who should be in their second car on the second Bahrain weekend. After all, there will be training again in four days.
He will visit Grosjean in the hospital on Monday, said Steiner, “and then I will listen to what the doctors have to say. Then we decide. Of course we always have a plan for such cases in the drawer, but right now is my plan that he’ll drive the race himself next weekend if he’s okay. But let’s wait and see. We have that much time. “
Steiner didn’t have time to visit Grosjean on Sunday: “I only talked to him on the phone because we had a lot to clarify along the way.” For example, he had to keep team owner Gene Haas up to date, who was not there himself: “A lot of people called him too. It was important that he always had the latest information.”
Haas knows exactly, says Steiner, “that he was lucky. We all were. That is the determining feeling at the moment. A guardian angel stood by us today. It was luck, and under these circumstances many people did exactly the right thing. That starts with Romain himself, getting out of the car. You can see that on the rear-facing FOM camera. “
Grosjean was still on the phone with his wife Marion and his children on Saturday evening, and he was visited by FIA President Jean Todt in the hospital. He indirectly owes his life to this. If Todt hadn’t prevailed against the critics of the Halo cockpit protection, Grosjean would probably no longer be alive by now.
A shock that a 34-year-old father had to digest in the third last race of his Formula 1 career. Even if he should be fit, whether he even wants to drive Bahrain 2? “I don’t know,” waves Steiner and grins: “At least I wouldn’t have asked him that this afternoon! I’ll visit him tomorrow and see how he feels.”
Photo gallery: Romain Grosjean’s fire accident in Bahrain 2020
Should Grosjean then say that he no longer wants, “I won’t push him,” Steiner clarifies. “He has to deal with that with himself. I stick to what he says. And I don’t know how he’ll feel tomorrow either. Tomorrow the adrenaline is gone and he feels the bruises, and then he thinks maybe a little different than today. “
Because on the first phone call, Grosjean did not give the impression of a man who just jumped a hair’s breadth off the shovel: “He felt good, was in a good mood. We even made jokes,” grins Steiner, “and the accident discussed a bit. He asked me a few questions, and so did I. He just had his son on the phone. “
“But as I said: I don’t want to speculate about who could replace him as long as we don’t know whether we have to replace him at all,” Steiner dismissed the journalists’ questions. “I would now like to give Romain a little time to let everything go through his head before he gives us feedback. Then we’ll look further.”
“At the moment,” says Steiner, “Romain is driving. And if not, then we’re ready. We know what we would do.” But he doesn’t want to reveal that. In theory, Haas has two reserve drivers: Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz. Both are in Bahrain anyway. But: “Now let’s wait for the doctors to give a detailed assessment of how bad the injuries are.”
It is already clear that Haas will drive Bahrain 2, with two cars: “We have enough spare parts, even with our modest budget,” Steiner clarifies. “We have to rebuild the second car, but there are enough parts for that.” At the same time he admits: “If something like this happens again next week, then we have a problem …”