French F1 driver Romain Grosjean managed to walk away from a horrific accident during last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, as his Haas was cut in half after impacting a guardrail at high speed. The car immediately burst into flames.
Grosjean was swiftly transferred to a hospital, where X-rays came back negative with regards to any possible fractures. He did however suffer burns on the back of both of his hands.
The Frenchman will be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, but will sit out next weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, with Brazilian racer Pietro Fittipaldi making his F1 debut in place of Grosjean.
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“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,” said team principal Guenther Steiner. “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.”
An update from Romain himself. Pleased to see you’re in good spirits! We hope you make a speedy recovery pic.twitter.com/njnjjH4GBi
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) November 29, 2020
As for why the crash happened to begin with, Grosjean’s Haas simply veered off the track after making contact with Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri just after Turn 3. The incident took place on the first lap of the race, and a red flag was immediately waived.
What a shock to the system it was to see my friend and team mate @RGrosjean in this horrible crash today. What a legend he is for making it out of the car, pinned under the guardrails, covered in fire. Hope you have a speedy recovery mate.
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) November 29, 2020
We don’t even want to think about what the outcome of this crash may have been had Grosjean’s car not been equipped with the Halo cockpit protection system.