Motorsport Images photographer Andy Hone wins award for Grosjean fireball picture

Motorsport Images photographer Andrew Hone has won a gold medal in the World Sports Photography Awards for his picture of ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean escaping his Bahrain fireball crash.

Motorsport Images photographer Andy Hone wins award for Grosjean fireball picture

Hone’s image captures Grosjean’s figure approaching the barrier his Haas car had just pierced through before bursting into flames at the start of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, following contact with former AlphaTauri racer Daniil Kvyat.

In the picture, Grosjean is about to haul himself out of the flames and over the barrier and into the arms of F1 medical rescue co-ordinator, Dr Ian Roberts, while a Bahrain marshal tackles the blaze with a fire extinguisher having crossed the track to reach the scene.

Grosjean was able to escape without suffering any life-changing injuries, although he did pick up significant burns to his hands that meant he was unable to complete the final two races of an F1 stint that stretched back to 2012, after he had first raced in the category for seven races in 2009.

Hone, who is embedded with the Haas squad as its in-garage team photographer for this weekend’s Azerbaijan GP, scooped the award in the F1 category of the prestigious awards prize list.

He said of his win: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to win. The F1 season is a long and hard year and it’s great to have your work recognised.”

After the shocking incident at the start of the first of two 2020 F1 races to take place at the Bahrain circuit, Hone discussed how he came to capture the image, which featured on the front pages of major publications around the world.

“I shot the start of the race at Turn 2 and once the cars had passed, I turned around, heard a big bang and there was a massive fireball in the air,” he explained.

“[I] obviously ran straight towards it. Horrific scenes, but there's a lot of people relying on you to document what's happening. So, you've just got to get on with it.”

After his F1 stint ended, Grosjean switched to IndyCar and will race for the Dale Coyne Racing squad in all 12 road and street races on the championship’s 2021 schedule.

He took pole position and finished second at the recent Indianapolis road course round – only his third start in the category.

Everyone at Autosport would like to commend Andrew for his award win and acknowledge his fantastic efforts to capture the full extent of Grosjean’s crash and escape in what were very difficult circumstances for all involved.

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