Todt: "Scary" return of fire to F1 needs understanding

FIA president Jean Todt says the "scary" return of a fiery crash to Formula 1 is something the sport quickly needs to understand.

As motor racing's governing body begins a detailed investigation into Romain Grosjean's escape from his terrifying accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Todt said the way the car burst in to flames was a key issue for him.

In an exclusive video interview with Motorsport.com, Todt admitted that the Grosjean crash had been 'scary' to watch, but it was the fire aspect that had surprised him the most.

"I think we all lost memory of a car catching into fire and into flames," said Todt. "So we need to understand why it happened.

"I must say, I don't remember a lot of accidents where you see the car cut in two pieces like that. But we need to have good expertise.

"It's seems the monocoque resisted very well. Can you imagine how will be his legs, his feet, if the monocoque did not resist, which is absolutely outstanding. And then a lot of things were the result of improvement."

Read Also:

Todt said that while F1 safety measures worked in many ways to save Grosjean's life, the FIA would look into why the Frenchman's hands got burned.

"We need to understand the gloves, because his hands are slightly burned second degree," said Todt. "So we need to understand what has happened, for clearly him and the doctor, because the doctor, his overalls were also burnt."

While Todt said there was satisfaction from the way that the Halo had helped save Grosjean's life, he pointed to other aspects of the crash that showed more could be done.

"You cannot anticipate the way a car could leave the track as it happened," he said. "The angle was determined because he touched the wheel of Daniil Kvyat and then went straight into the barriers in a place where you would not expect a car to leave the road.

"Then the car with 100kg of fuel, when it was cut in two, we need to understand that. It probably hit at over 200 km/h the rails, and we know that if the Halo had not been there, I don't want to think about what would have been the tragedy."

Other elements of the accident were down to good fortune Todt reckoned: such as the incident happening near the first corner on the first lap so the medical car could be quickly on the scene.

The safety vehicle arrived at Grosjean's fire just nine seconds after the blaze started.

Todt added: "In a way it is fortunate to have the medical car following the group of Formula 1 [cars], because it was just after the start. So they could be there very, very quickly.

"And then you can see how brave were the crew in the car, with Ian Roberts and Alan van de Merwe, who immediately came out and exposed themselves, including local marshals.

"So here you see great people and it is probably what does inspire me. Very often I say, there are a lot of things I don't like in Formula 1.

"But there are a lot of things I love in Formula 1. And it's part of the thing I do love and it just encourages me, the organisation and the team to move forward."

shares
comments
How Hamilton tried to isolate himself from COVID-19

Previous article

How Hamilton tried to isolate himself from COVID-19

Next article

Steiner says Grosjean wants to return for Abu Dhabi GP

Steiner says Grosjean wants to return for Abu Dhabi GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021