Grosjean recalls Bahrain F1 fire escape: "I saw death coming"

Romain Grosjean has recalled his escape from his fiery crash at the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, revealing he told himself to get out of the wreckage for his children

Grosjean recalls Bahrain F1 fire escape: "I saw death coming"

Grosjean crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday's race in Bahrain, hitting the barrier at the exit of Turn 3 at 137 mph, recording a force of more than 50g.

The Haas F1 car tore apart on impact and burst into flames, leaving Grosjean to escape from his cockpit that had become embedded in the barrier.

The Frenchman escaped quickly, suffering only burns to his hands and avoiding any broken bones.

Grosjean will remain in hospital until at least Wednesday and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, but is hopeful of returning for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking in his first extended interview since the accident, Grosjean joked that he had "Mickey Mouse's hands" due to his bandages, but was otherwise fine and had no issue moving.

PLUS: How F1's safety advances saved Grosjean

Grosjean recalled his immediate thoughts in the accident, conceding that it felt longer than the 28-second period from impact to him getting out of the car.

"I don't know if the word miracle exists or if it can be used, but in any case I would say it wasn't my time [to die]," Grosjean told TF1.

"It felt much longer than 28 seconds. I see my visor turning all orange, I see the flames on the left side of the car.

"I thought about a lot of things, including Niki Lauda, and I thought that it wasn't possible to end up like that, not now. I couldn't finish my story in Formula 1 like that.

"And then, for my children, I told myself that I had to get out. I put my hands in the fire, so I clearly felt it burning on the chassis.

"I got out, then I felt someone pulling on the suit, so I knew I was out."

Grosjean revealed that his five-year-old son, Simon, believes he has "magical powers" and that he has a "magical love shield" that protected him.

"These are very strong words from the children," Grosjean said.

"My eldest, Sacha, who is seven years old, is more rational, he tries to understand.

"And my little one has drawn a picture, 'for daddy's sores on his hands'."

Grosjean acknowledged he would likely need to discuss the trauma of such a dramatic accident as he feared he would be killed.

"I was more afraid for my family and friends, obviously my children who are my greatest source of pride and energy, than for myself in the end," Grosjean said.

"I think there's going to be some psychological work to be done, because I really saw death coming.

"Even in Hollywood, we're not able to do images like that. It's the biggest crash I've ever seen in my life.

"The car catching fire, exploding, and the battery that burst into flames too, so it added a lot of energy to the impact."

Grosjean gave thanks for the messages he had received, but said again that he was eager to be back in the car in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I would say that there is a feeling of being happy to be alive, of seeing things differently," Grosjean said.

"But also there is the need to get back in the car, if possible in Abu Dhabi, to finish my story with Formula 1 in a different way.

"It was almost like a second birth. To come out of the flames that day is something that will mark my life forever.

"I have a lot of people who have shown me love and it has touched me a lot, and at times I get a bit teary-eyed."

shares
comments
Steiner responds to Mazepin F1 pay driver criticism with Lauda comparison
Previous article

Steiner responds to Mazepin F1 pay driver criticism with Lauda comparison

Next article

Hamilton "devastated" to miss Sakhir GP after contracting COVID-19

Hamilton "devastated" to miss Sakhir GP after contracting COVID-19
The inconvenient questions posed by Vettel’s Williams run Plus

The inconvenient questions posed by Vettel’s Williams run

Sebastian Vettel's demo laps on board his own Williams FW14B was not only a great spectacle for the fans, but were carried out with a fully sustainable, carbon-neutral fuel. And it begs the question - for all of the money F1 has spent on championing hybrids and electric components, could it go back to V8s or V10s with a similar kind of fuel?

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight  Plus

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight 

With the team’s founder now retired and a new boss at the helm, change was coming to Brabham – change that would shape the future of Formula 1. In the third part of our four-part history of Brabham, DAMIEN SMITH examines the effect Bernie Ecclestone had on the team

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

Formula 1
Jul 6, 2022
How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022