Last night's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was marred by one of the most horrific crashes witnessed in recent Formula One history. The car of Haas driver Romain Grosjean veered sharply to the right before hitting a steel barrier on the side of the track. It then split in half and burst into flames. Thankfully, the Frenchman remained conscious and was able to jump out of the flames.
In an Instagram video shared from his hospital bed, Grosjean said, "Hello everyone, I just wanted to say I am OK, well, sort of OK," as he showed of the bandages that are wrapped around both of his hands. Evidently, he suffered burns as was initially suspected when he was seen waving his hands in the air as he jumped out of the inferno on the side of the track.
"Thank you very much for all the messages," he continued, before admitting that he was not in favour of the "halo" when it was first introduced into F1 some years ago. Grosjean says that if it was not for the safety device, he would not be speaking to his fans today. He then thanked all of the medical staff and said that he is hoping to regain full use of his hands very soon so that he can write messages himself.
The Haas Formula One team also shared an update, confirming that while Grosjean suffered burns on both his hands, his X-rays came back clear of any fractures. It was earlier thought that he may have broken some ribs during the incident.
The entire paddock and millions of spectators from around the world were shocked to see a massive fireball explode after the Haas crashed into the barrier. While collisions happen all the time, F1 cars have always been designed to be able to retard flames as soon as possible even with fuel leaks and engine blowouts. Last night's incident with Grosjean was straight out of a Hollywood movie. Thankfully, the protagonist came out only slightly singed and shaken.
Luckily, he did not get knocked unconscious and was able to jump out of the car just as the marshals and the safety car team were trying to douse the flames. If he had been unconscious, crucial seconds would have been lost as the rescue personnel would need to sufficiently put out the flames before they can safely pull him out. Those extra seconds could have easily spelled disaster.
The race was red flagged as the barriers were repaired. At the restart, another accident involving Racing Point's Lance Stroll thankfully did not lead to more injuries. In the end, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took the victory ahead of Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.