Grosjean recalls Bahrain GP escape: "I saw death coming"

Romain Grosjean has recalled his escape from his fiery crash at the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, revealing he told himself to get out of the wreckage for his children.

Grosjean crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday's race in Bahrain, hitting the barrier at the exit of Turn 3 at 137 mph, recording a force of more than 50g.

The Haas F1 car tore apart on impact and burst into flames, leaving Grosjean to escape from his cockpit that had become embedded in the barrier.

The Frenchman escaped quickly, suffering only burns to his hands and avoiding any broken bones.

Grosjean will remain in hospital until at least Wednesday and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, but is hopeful of returning for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking in his first extended interview since the accident, Grosjean joked that he had "Mickey Mouse's hands" due to his bandages, but was otherwise fine and had no issue moving.

Grosjean recalled his immediate thoughts in the accident, conceding that it felt longer than the 28-second period from impact to him getting out of the car.

"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 [to die]," Grosjean told TF1.

"It felt much longer than 28 seconds. I see my visor turning all orange, I see the flames on the left side of the car. 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 revealed that his five-year-old son, Simon, believes he has "magical powers" and that he has a "magical love shield" that protected him.

"These are very strong words from the children," Grosjean said. "My eldest, Sacha, who is seven years old, is more rational, he tries to understand.

"And my little one has drawn a picture, 'for daddy's sores on his hands'."

Read Also:

Grosjean acknowledged he would likely need to discuss the trauma of such a dramatic accident as he feared he would be killed.

"I was more afraid for my family and friends, obviously my children who are my greatest source of pride and energy, than for myself in the end," Grosjean said.

"I think there's going to be some psychological work to be done, because I really saw death coming.

"Even in Hollywood, we're not able to do images like that. It's the biggest crash I've ever seen in my life. The car catching fire, exploding, and the battery that burst into flames too, so it added a lot of energy to the impact."

Grosjean gave thanks for the messages he had received, but said again that he was eager to be back in the car in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I would say that there is a feeling of being happy to be alive, of seeing things differently," Grosjean said.

"But also there is the need to get back in the car, if possible in Abu Dhabi, to finish my story with Formula One in a different way.

"It was almost like a second birth. 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."

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull to delay Albon decision until post-season
Previous article

Red Bull to delay Albon decision until post-season

Next article

Hamilton "devastated" to miss Sakhir GP after COVID positive

Hamilton "devastated" to miss Sakhir GP after COVID positive
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021