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Grosjean's fire-damaged Bahrain F1 car to go on display

Romain Grosjean's fire-damaged car that "saved my life" in his horror Bahrain Grand Prix crash in 2020 will be displayed for the first time at the Formula 1 exhibit.

Marshals deal with the wreckage after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap

The former Haas driver suffered a spectacular accident on the opening lap of the 2020 Bahrain GP when he made contact with the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat and speared into the barrier on the exit of Turn 3.

His car split in half upon the violent impact and exploded into flames, with Grosjean miraculously escaping with only minor injuries despite sitting in the car for 28 seconds while it was on fire.

The wreckage of the car has been under wraps for three years, but will now go on display at the F1 Exhibit in Madrid as part of an installation that will also feature unseen footage of the horrifying incident.

Much of the monocoque remains intact, including the halo, which was instrumental in ensuring Grosjean survived the incident.

"From my point of view, it was a big accident but I didn't realise the impact or how violent it was from the outside," Grosjean recalls in his interview with the Formula 1 Exhibition team.

"It was only the next day when I asked someone to show me what it looked like that I realised.

"My wife was actually watching that race with my dad and my kids. They will remember that moment their entire life.

"They were just spectators waiting to hear something… waiting to see something from Bahrain.

Marshals deal with the wreckage after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap

Marshals deal with the wreckage after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"I had to break the headrest, punching it with my helmet and then I eventually managed to get my helmet through and stand up in the seat.

"I realised my left foot was stuck into the chassis and I pulled as hard as I could on my left leg. My shoe stayed in the chassis but my foot came loose so I was free to exit the car.

"It was 120 kilos of fuel plus the battery - both were on fire. Dr Ian Roberts, Alan from the medical car and one fireman were trying to open a gap in the fire to help me get out.

"I believe that helped me at least to get a vision of where I had to go and where the exit was.

"The survival cell is there for you in case of a huge impact. I was intact inside the shell. The chassis is still in one piece, the halo is there and apart from the damage and burn it is still as it should be. I guess that saved my life."

The 2020 Bahrain GP turned out to be Grosjean's final race in F1, as his injuries from the incident stopped him from competing in the final two rounds of the campaign before his switch to IndyCar in 2021.

A planned test with Mercedes had to be shelved due to travel restrictions in 2021, though the Frenchman said last year that it was "still on the cards".

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