Romain Grosjean: FIA to investigate Haas driver’s crash in Bahrain

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The incident – seen here on a screen – happened during the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula 1’s governing body has opened an investigation into Romain Grosjean’s fire accident during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The FIA ​​said it would conduct a “detailed” analysis of the incident, during which Frenchman Grosjean’s car entered the barriers.

He said it would take six to eight weeks before the results were released.

FIA Director of Safety Adam Baker said the data “allows us to accurately determine every piece of what happened”.

Baker added that “the work has already started” and the goal was “to find out exactly what happened before suggesting potential improvements”.

Grosjean suffered burns to his hands and extensive bruising, but he was uninjured in an accident which had an impact speed of 137 mph and in which he was subjected to a force of 53G.

The FIA ​​has made a number of barrier changes in Bahrain for this weekend’s race, which takes place on a different and shorter layout of the Sakhir track.

Two layers of tires, with a conveyor belt attachment, were installed in front of the barrier struck by Grosjean between turns three and four.

In addition, a tire barrier on the right side of turn nine has been extended and increased in depth, while a curb at turns eight and nine has been removed to reduce the risk of a car taking off.

Grosjean spoke to French media about the crash on Wednesday, saying he believes the halo head protection device introduced in F1 in 2018 saved his life.

The halo was adopted following the death of Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who sustained serious head injuries in an accident during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix and died nine months later.

Grosjean said: “Jules saved my life. Without Jules’ accident, there probably wouldn’t have been a halo. And without a halo, no more Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean first raced in Formula 1 in 2009

He described the times inside the car as he realized there was a fire and he was having trouble getting out.

“After the shock, I open my eyes,” he said. “I take off my harness, I hit something blocking me: I think it’s the halo. I sit down and tell myself that someone will come and help me. At the moment, I don’t realize that there is a fire.

“So I look to the left: it’s all orange; I find that weird. I realized then that there was a fire because the plastic of my ‘tear off’ (visor) caught fire. I try to get out without succeeding.

“I have time to think that I will end up like Niki Lauda, ​​burnt. I tell myself that it is not possible, that I cannot end like this. I tried all right, then fine. Every time I’m stuck.

“I sit down and there is a strange moment when I see death as close as you can see it. My body almost relaxes and thinks it’s over.

“I wondered which part was going to burn first, and if it would be my hand. I took 53G on my head so obviously I’m a bit stunned.

“But then I shoot like crazy because my left foot is stuck under the pedal. I tell myself that I haven’t tried sliding to the other side yet.

“I put my hands in the fire, the gloves turn black, I feel the pain, I know then that I am burning my hands. At the passage of the chest (the cockpit), it is deliverance. I know I’m going to live I pass the barrier, I feel the doctor put on my suit, he says to me “Sit down”.

“The impact, frankly, is not that bad. Everyone thought I would have a concussion or a power outage. But nothing I can hear [FIA Dr] Ian Roberts talks to me. I immediately thought of removing the gloves which melted.

Grosjean added: “The survival instinct was the strongest – even after thinking I was going to die, I had the lucidity to think about what movement to make.

“I saw death too closely, it’s a feeling I don’t wish on anyone. It will change my life forever. At the time, I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t bored but I didn’t want it to end like this. ”

Romain Grosjean
Grosjean will leave Haas at the end of the 2020 season and the Bahrain Grand Prix could be the last race of his Formula 1 career

Grosjean said he had since been ‘haunted by the idea of ​​death’ and told the psychologist he had been seeing since 2012.

He reaffirmed his desire to participate in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which will close the season on December 13 and 15, if possible. He leaves the Haas team at the end of the season and has no road for 2021.

“The big problem is the left hand,” he said. “It will take three weeks for her to heal. So if I’m driving in Abu Dhabi the idea is to put on cream and a latex glove before I set the glove on fire.

“The rest is better, the right hand, in seven days, it’s perfect. “

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