Romain Grosjean targets Abu Dhabi Grand Prix return as he spends third night in hospital

Haas’ French driver made a miraculous escape when his car split into two and burst into flames after hitting the barriers at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix. 

He survived with slight burns to the outside of his hands and has been rested for the second race at the Sakhir circuit this coming Sunday. 

But the 34-year-old’s team boss Guenther Steiner said the driver was still hopeful of returning in time for the final race of the season and his final race for Haas. 

“The doctors are very happy, and the healing process is as they had seen it coming,” said Steiner on Tuesday. “So there is no setback or anything. It’s just maybe it’s better to stay a night longer to make the healing quicker.” 

Grosjean, meanwhile, said the incident had changed him. He said: “To come out of the flames that day is something that will mark my life forever. I have a lot of people who have shown me love and it has touched me a lot, and at times I get a bit teary-eyed.

“I don’t know if the word miracle exists or if it can be used, but in any case I would say it wasn’t my time.

“I thought about a lot of things, including Niki Lauda, and I thought that it wasn’t possible to end up like that, not now. I couldn’t finish my story in Formula 1 like that.

“And then, for my children, I told myself that I had to get out. I put my hands in the fire, so I clearly felt it burning on the chassis. I got out, then I felt someone pulling on the suit, so I knew I was out.”

Grosjean will be deputised by Pietro Fittipaldi for this weekend, while Haas also announced that Russia’s Nikita Mazepin would take one race seat for the 2021 season.

But Steiner said Grosjean was hopeful of getting back behind the wheel before the season’s end. He added: “That is his aim now. He just tries to get better to be in the car in Abu Dhabi. I think that shows that he wants to keep on doing it, you know.”  

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