Formula 1's Romain Grosjean 'OK' after fiery crash

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Romain Grosjean says he is "OK" after he miraculously escaped his flame-engulfed car during a Formula 1 race in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain.

Grosjean, 34, posted several videos to his Instagram account after the crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.


"I just wanted to say I'm OK, well, sort of OK," Grosjean said, as he lifted up his bandaged hands. "Thank you very much for the messages."

Grosjean clipped another car on the first lap as he attempted to maneuver through the field and spun into a barrier. The car split into two pieces, leaked fuel and erupted into a fireball.

Grosjean then emerged from the area and climbed over a guard rail before he walked alongside medical staff to receive treatment. He was later taken by helicopter to Bahrain Defence Force Hospital.


"I don't want to make a medical comment, but he had light burns on his hands and ankles," said Guenther Steiner, the head of Grosjean's Haas team.

"Obviously he's shaken. ... I want to thank the rescue crews who are very quick. The marshals and FIA people they did a great job. It was scary."

Grosjean credited the halo -- a driver crash-protection system used in the open-wheel racing series -- for saving his life. The halo system consists of a curved titanium bar placed over the driver and angled around their head. It was introduced into Formula 1 in 2018 and is now the strongest part of the car.


"I wasn't [in support of] the halo several years ago, but I think it's the greatest thing we brought to Formula 1," Grosjean said.

"Without it, I wouldn't be able to speak to you. Thanks to all the medical staff at the circuit, at the hospital, and hopefully I can soon write you some messages soon and tell you how it's going."

Grosjean did not sustain any fractures in the crash. Haas said he is expected to be discharged from the hospital Tuesday. Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Grosjean in the Sakhir Grand Prix on Sunday in Bahrain as part of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

"After it was decided that the best thing for Romain was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro in the car was pretty easy," Steiner said. "Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he's familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver.

"It's the right thing to do and it's obviously a good opportunity for him."

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won Saturday's Bahrain Grand Prix, his 11th this season.


"I'm so grateful Romain is safe," Hamilton tweeted. "Wow. The risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do."

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