Todt made sure Grosjean spoke to wife in medical centre

FIA president Jean Todt says he made it a priority that Romain Grosjean speak to his wife on the phone in Bahrain's medical centre in the minutes after his Formula 1 crash.

Listen to this article

Grosjean escaped with light burns from a fiery accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix, after his car plunged into a barrier on the opening lap of the race.

As the Haas driver underwent evaluation from doctors in the medical centre, Todt visited him for an update on his condition – and felt it vital for Grosjean's wife back home to know that her husband was safe.

"I went to see immediately when he was in the medical centre in the circuit," said Todt in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

"The only thing is that I wanted him to speak with his wife, in order that she could hear his voice, which was important."

Grosjean had been a well-known critic of the halo being introduced to F1, as he felt the cockpit safety device was not fitting in with the sport's DNA.

But with the halo having played a key role in saving Grosjean's life in Bahrain, Todt said that the first conversation he had with the Frenchman during a hospital visit on Sunday night was about that.

"When I went the second time to visit him in the hospital, I said: "So, you like the halo?" explained Todt.

"He was not the only one yesterday to comment on how important it was, who had been against it earlier.

"But it's not a problem. I'm not interested to be right. I'm interested to participate and to make the right decisions."

Read Also:

Todt famously had to stand firm against resistance from many quarters over the introduction of the halo in 2018.

However, it is already known to have helped save drivers from injury or death – with Charles Leclerc avoiding being hit on the head by Fernando Alonso's McLaren at the 2018 Belgian GP.

Todt said that he always believed he had to push on with the halo, even when many people were criticising it.

"Sometimes it is important if you are convinced of one opinion to defend it, even if you get resistance to achieve it," he said.

"And you can just take the quotes from three years ago, when it was decided to introduce the halo. Even if there was a lot of negative comments, incidentally from teams, drivers, and media, clearly it was something which we knew will be an improvement. So that's a way to go.

"You can understand over-reaction after such an accident, but it's not the first time. Look at Charles Leclerc when he had his accident and we said without halo things would have been different. And sometimes, if you go back, we will not have lost some drivers if the halo would have been on.

"In difficult times, you see the way people are reacting. But you don't do that because people will speak about that, you do that because you feel it is good for the sport that you're defending."

shares
comments
Motorsport.com survey: F1 fans want sustainability and diversity
Previous article

Motorsport.com survey: F1 fans want sustainability and diversity

Next article

Steiner responds to Mazepin pay driver criticism

Steiner responds to Mazepin pay driver criticism
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022