Romain Grosjean’s car explodes into a fireball after 140mph crash that split his car in HALF… but he miraculously walks away with burns and broken ribs before being airlifted to a nearby hospital
- Romain Grosjean’s car burst into flames after a horror crash at the Bahrain GP
- The Haas driver crashed into a barrier at 53G and the car exploded into a fireball
- Grosjean was miraculously able to walk away from the crash and suffered burns
- The Frenchman has been airlifted to hospital after also sustaining broken ribs
Romain Grosjean suffered one of the most dramatic accidents of modern Formula One history at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix – but he miraculously survived.
The Frenchman’s Haas hit the wall at 53G and burst into a ball of flames, splitting his chassis in half and, astonishingly, sending him through the barriers. TV cameras cut away and the race was stopped.
Fears for his safety were palpable in the Sakhir circuit, sparsely populated because of Covid but suddenly heaving a collective sigh of apprehension.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean has suffered one of the most dramatic accidents in modern F1 history
The Frenchman’s car hit the wall at 53G and promptly burst into flames in sickening fashion
But Grosjean, 34, was then seen in the medical car before being taken away to the medical centre.
He was helped into an ambulance by marshals and limped as he did so. He suffered minor burns to his hands and ankles. It is also suspected that Grosjean has sustained broken ribs.
Grosjean has been taken to the BDF Military Hospital for further treatment, the FIA confirmed.
It is unusual for a Formula One car to self-combust and it remains unclear precisely what happened – though he collided with Daniil Kvyat before hurtling off at the third corner of the first lap.
The remains of Grosjean’s car, which broke into two after the crash, was cleared from the track
Grosjean was mercifully able to clamber out of the car and was helped into an ambulance
TV replays later showed him scrambling out of the car as marshals sprayed the scene to douse the flames. Grosjean spent 26 seconds in total inside the wreckage of his vehicle.
It was a remarkable accident and part of his car penetrated the barrier and a stray wheel jumped over the wall.
Having travelled through the barriers, he climbed to safety by hurdling the wall and returning on the trackside.
Footage seen after the incident revealed that Grosjean had moved to the right of the track before clipping the front wheel of Kyvat’s AlphaTauri car. The Frenchman then lost control and careered straight into the wall.
Grosjean, who was taken to the medical centre, suffered minor burns and also broken ribs
A delay of 45 minutes was expected and it was unclear whether the race would continue at all
The charred remains of Grosjean’s vehicle were removed from around the track with a crane
The driver of the medical car, Alan van der Merwe, said: ‘Big surprise for us, we have never seen that much fire in 12 years, and an impact like that.
‘We took a bit of time to process what was going on, and then Romain got out of the car himself which was pretty amazing.
‘It goes to show that all the systems that we have developed, everything worked – like halo, seatbelt, and barriers.’
A delay of at least 45 minutes is expected to take place while work to clean up the horror crash and repair the barrier is carried out. It is unclear whether the race will continue at all, however.
The rest of the drivers were sent back to the pits and had viewed the horror smash via replays
Lewis Hamilton, who started the race in pole position, was seen shaking his head after watching a replay of the collision.
He soon took to Twitter and wrote: ‘I’m so grateful Romain is safe. Wow… the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do.
‘Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.’
Shaken Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told Sky Sports: ‘[Grosjean] is doing OK. He has light burns on hands and ankles. Obviously he is shaking and going through all the checks but he’s fine.
TV images showed the car on fire as marshals and emergency services flocked to the scene
‘He’s seems to be OK and the rescue was very quick. The marshals and FIA did a great job. It was very scary.
‘We were lucky by being unlucky. He got a way with it I think.
‘It looked like he went across the track with the front wheel and went full speed in the barrier. But I’ve only seen what you guys have seen.’