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.

Listen to this article

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
Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Prime

Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate and devoid of the usual racing driver airs and graces, Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Prime

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Prime

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Prime

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time F1 champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24. And now it’s happening again at his current team

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future Prime

Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Prime

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Prime

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre? Prime

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022