Dhe pictures of flames after Romain Grosjean’s Formula 1 accident at the Bahraini Grand Prix on Sunday go around the world and are terrifying. The French Haas driver survived a fire crash “only” with burns to the back of his hand when Lewis Hamilton’s next win. Contrary to initial assumptions, there were no broken bones. Grosjean stayed in the hospital overnight. Formula 1 breathes a sigh of relief because the safety mechanisms took effect quickly. The cause of the accident on the first lap has not yet been clarified.
The first rescuers were Ian Roberts, medical rescue coordinator for the Fia, the world automobile association, and Alan van der Merwe, the driver of the medicine truck, at the scene of the accident. “You could see that he was very shaky on his feet,” said Roberts after Grosjean himself climbed out of the burning wreck. The Haas driver did not break after crashing into the guardrail at a speed of around 220 kilometers an hour.
The monocoque bored into the guardrail. As Roberts reported, the visor on Grosjean’s helmet melted as the flames blazed. The “Halo” cockpit protection, the fireproof racing overalls and the rapid intervention of the rescue personnel ensured that a disaster did not occur in Sakhir. “I’m so happy that Romain is fine. That makes up for all the preparation and sitting around for these 30 short seconds, ”said van der Merwe about the effort right after the start of the race.
Grosjean, with heavily bandaged hands, sent greetings from the hospital bed that night and thanked everyone who had sent him messages. “I wasn’t for the Halo a few years ago, but it’s the greatest thing in Formula One,” he said. “Without him I couldn’t speak to you now. So thank you! ”Halo is the ring-shaped titanium bracket that is stretched over the driver’s head in the cockpit.
Sebastian Vettel, like his colleagues, was also deeply relieved that Grosjean got off relatively lightly. “The most important thing is that he got out of the car,” said the Ferrari driver. It borders on a miracle. “It’s good that the cars are safer than they used to be. The guardrail should not give way and the car should not catch fire in this way. “
Formula 1 is now investigating the incident, Haas team boss Günther Steiner wants to get an idea of the condition of his pilot in the hospital. He told the TV broadcaster Sky on Sunday evening that Grosjean was in his right mind after a joint phone call. The French feel good so far. More will be said on Monday when the bandages are removed from the hands. Steiner did not want to talk specifically about the plan to use a replacement driver at the next Grand Prix in Sakhir. The most important thing is that Grosjean is doing well. Plan B is to have the French back when he’s okay.
“We often forget how dangerous the sport is,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. World champion Hamilton also spoke after his eleventh win of the season that the accident was a “powerful reminder” of how dangerous Formula 1 could be. The motorsport premier class must continue in safety issues. “We must not stop where we are,” demanded Hamilton. “We have to try to keep doing better. That is what makes this sport so great. “