Formula One driver Romain Grosjean suffered minor burns and suspected broken ribs but was in a stable condition after his car smashed through safety barriers at the Bahrain Grand Prix on the opening lap. In a horrific crash, the Frenchman’s Haas pierced the barrier after coming into contact with the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat. Grosjean’s car split in two and burst into flames, bringing the race to a halt. Also Read - F1 News: Lewis Hamilton, Seven Time World Champion, to be Awarded Knighthood in New Year's Honours List
The French driver miraculously emerged from the flames after several seconds and was immediately tended to by the trackside emergency services. The Bahrain Grand Prix was temporarily halted on Sunday shortly after the start of the first lap as Haas driver Romain Grosjean suffered a horrific crash that left his car in flames and sliced in two. Also Read - F1 2020 News: Lewis Hamilton Eyes 'Christmas Gift' With New Mercedes Contract For 2021
“Romain is doing okay, I don’t want to make a medical comment but he had light burns on his hands and ankles. 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,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner shortly after the incident. Also Read - Red Bull's Max Verstappen Cruises to Win at Abu Dhabi GP, Lewis Hamilton Finishes Third
Grosjean was stuck inside the flaming wreck for nearly 10 seconds before somehow finding a way out. The race footage showed Grosjean’s car swerving at high speed into the barriers to the right of the straight just two corners into the race. The impact created a fireball and the car split in half, with one part consisting of the cockpit wedged into the barrier, burst into flames.
Incredibly, Grosjean, 34, emerged from his cockpit before being rescued by nearby marshals. Broadcast showed safety officials reaching the car immediately but with Grosjean still trapped inside.
“The driver was immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews. The driver self-extricated and was conscious at all times. He was taken to the medical centre before being transferred to Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital by helicopter where he is undergoing further evaluation,” the FIA later said in its statement.
Grosjean was shown on television chatting with the race doctor in the medical car moments after he escaped the inferno. Haas later tweeted that the Frenchman has “some minor burns on his hands and ankles but otherwise he is ok”.
They later said that he had been transported to a hospital as a precaution and for further medical evaluation.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton expressed his relief on Twitter while waiting for the race to restart.
“I’m so grateful Romain is safe. 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,” Hamilton wrote. “Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”
It appeared an extraordinary escape after Grosjean’s car was sliced in half upon impact with the barrier.