Romain Grosjean: Driver was ‘at peace’ with death in F1 fire – but thoughts of Lauda and his children helped him escape | World news

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Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean told Sky he was ‘at peace’ with death during the 28 seconds he was trapped in his burning car following a terrible crash at the Grand Prix from Bahrain.

The 34-year-old Frenchman miraculously escaped with minor burns after his Haas car was cut in half by a safety barrier and caught fire during last Sunday’s race.

He said the thought of his children – and also what happened to F1 legend Niki Lauda – gave him the strength to finally escape.

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, he described the moment he realized his car was on fire after hitting barriers at around 137 mph (220 km / h).

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Grosjean pictured in hospital bed with hand injuries
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The accident happened at the Bahrain GP

Grosjean told Sky F1’s Martin Brundle: “The first thing I did was undo the seat belt, try to take the wheel off – which was gone, so at least one less worry – and then take it off. ‘try to jump.

“I hit something on the top of my helmet so I sat down and thought I must be upside down against the gate so I’ll wait for them to come and help me.”

“I looked to my right, I looked to my left, and everything was orange. It’s strange, I thought… Then I realized it was fire. So I knew I didn’t have time until they arrived.

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Moment F1 driver escapes from hell

The wreckage of the car of French driver Romain Grosjean of Haas F1 is removed during the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in the city of Sakhir on November 29, 2020 (Photo by HAMAD I MOHAMMED / POOL) / AFP) (Photo by HAMAD I MOHAMMED / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
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The car was cut in half by the high-speed crash in a barrier

However, despite repeated efforts, Grosjean said he couldn’t find a way out of the car.

He considered giving up, but then thought of Niki Lauda, ​​who suffered severe burns while stuck in his car at the Nürburgring in Germany in 1976.

“I said, ‘I can’t end up like Niki, I can’t end up like this. It can’t be my last race ”. ”

However, he still couldn’t find a way out.

He added, “So I tried again, I’m stuck… I was almost at peace with myself, thinking, I’m dead. I will die.

Niki Lauda has died at 70
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Grosjean said he thought of Niki Lauda when he was trapped
NIKI LAUDA Loses Control And Crashes Into The Flames CR-BRUNSWICK FILMS
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Lauda almost died at the German GP in 1976

“And then, I don’t know if this moment allowed me to recover a little, to try to think of another solution, but I thought of my children. [Grosjean has three] and I said no.

“I cannot die today. For my children, I cannot die today.

“Then I start to twist my head, go up and turn my body. It worked.

Describing the moment he broke free he said: “I jump on the barrier, then I feel Ian [Roberts, FIA medical delegate] it pulls on my set and it’s an amazing feeling.

“When he shoots me, I know there is someone with me. I’m alive.

First responders at Grosjean said they immediately knew the Frenchman had – miraculously – avoided a serious injury. He was then taken to the medical center.

He spent three nights in the Bahrain Defense Forces (BDF) hospital after the crash, but is now gone.

He will remain in the country to continue the private treatment of his burns.

The full interview will be broadcast on Sunday in preparation for the Sakhir GP – from 3:30 p.m. on Sky Sports F1.

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