Wait for Grosjean to escape Bahrain crash fire "felt like ages"

Formula 1 medical car driver Alan van der Merwe said it “felt like ages” waiting for Romain Grosjean to escape from the fire after opening lap crash in Bahrain.

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, emerges from flames after a horrific accident on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Marshals extinguish the fire
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, emerges from flames after a horrific accident on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Marshals extinguish the fire
1/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Medical delegates assist Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, after a huge crash on the opening lap
Medical delegates assist Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, after a huge crash on the opening lap
2/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Medical delegates assist Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, after a huge crash on the opening lap
Medical delegates assist Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, after a huge crash on the opening lap
3/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Fire marshals use an extinguisher on a horrific accident of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix
Fire marshals use an extinguisher on a horrific accident of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix
4/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Marshals deal with the wreckage after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
Marshals deal with the wreckage after a huge crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
5/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Marshals extinguish the flames after a big crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
Marshals extinguish the flames after a big crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
6/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Marshals extinguish the flames after a big crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
Marshals extinguish the flames after a big crash for Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, on the opening lap
7/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Marshals deal with the remains of the car of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20
Marshals deal with the remains of the car of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20
8/9

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The wrecked car of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, after a big crash on the opening lap
The wrecked car of Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20, after a big crash on the opening lap
9/9

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Grosjean crashed heavily at Turn 3 after making contact with Daniil Kvyat on the first lap in Bahrain, with the impact at the barrier tearing his car in half and causing a huge fire.

Grosjean clambered out of the fire at the wreckage unassisted, and was quickly met by van der Merwe and Dr. Ian Roberts, the FIA’s deputy medical delegate and doctor for F1 events, both of whom had run towards the fire.

The Haas F1 driver was taken to the medical car to sit down before being transferred to an ambulance, reporting burns to his hands and ankles. He has since been transferred by helicopter to hospital with a suspected broken rib.

The race was immediately red flagged, with a lengthy wait following while repairs were completed at the site of the crash.

Medical driver van der Merwe said it was a “big surprise” for the FIA staff to see such a huge fire from the incident, but hailed the safety standards in place that saved Grosjean’s life.

"We’ve never seen that much fire,” van der Merwe said. “In 12 years, I’ve never seen that much fire at an impact like that.

“We just took a little while to process what was going on. I’m sure it was only a second or so, but it felt like ages.

“Then Romain just actually started to get out of the car himself, which is pretty amazing after an accident like that.”

Read Also:

The aftermath of the crash showed the monocoque of Grosjean’s car - which had been lodged in the damaged barrier - was melted by the fire, including the halo and the headrest.

“[There was] some relief when he got back here and he was OK,” van der Merwe said.

“It just goes to show, all the systems that we’ve developed, everything worked hand in hand, the halo, the barriers, the seat belts, everything worked how it should.

“Without just one of those things, it could have been a very different outcome.”

Van der Merwe was quickly greeted in the pit lane by Haas F1 boss Gunther Steiner, who thanked the South African for his work, and asked after Roberts to give his thanks as well.

shares
comments
Grosjean "lucky by being unlucky" in horror Bahrain GP crash
Previous article

Grosjean "lucky by being unlucky" in horror Bahrain GP crash

Next article

Grosjean's Bahrain fireball crash in pictures

Grosjean's Bahrain fireball crash in pictures
Load comments
The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021