Romain Grosjean's miracle escape from fireball Haas crash at Bahrain GP
Romain Grosjean suffers hand burns but miraculously avoids serious injury in terrifying accident when his Haas car split in two and caught fire; Frenchman credits Halo device for saving his life and stayed in hospital overnight on Sunday; Haas hope for hospital discharge on Tuesday
By Matt Morlidge and James Galloway
Last Updated: 30/11/20 12:02pm
Romain Grosjean is being treated for burns to his hands and will stay in hospital overnight after miraculously walking away from a huge first-lap crash at the Bahrain GP that saw his Haas car split in two and burst into flames.
The Frenchman, who has not suffered any fractures, crashed heavily when swerving to the right of the straight after just two corners of Sunday's race, with his Haas car piercing the barrier at high-speed with a huge and frightening impact to red flag the Grand Prix.
Speaking for the first time from his hospital bed in a video posted on Sunday night, Grosjean said he was "okay... sort of okay".
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Grosjean incredibly, emerged from his cockpit before being rescued by nearby marshals and medical officials - while flames engulfed the front half of his car.
Sustaining only minor suspected injuries, Grosjean was taken to Bahrain's Defence Force Hospital for further checks and the FIA said in a statement on Sunday night that he was being "treated for burns sustained on the back of both hands" and would remain in hospital overnight.
X-rays also showed he had sustained no fractures.
Haas released a further statement on Monday morning, claiming that treatment for the burns on both of Grosjean's hands was "going well" and that team boss Guenther Steiner had visited him.
"It is anticipated he will be discharged from the car of the hospital on Tuesday, December 1st," they added.
Reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Grosjean at this weekend's Sakhir GP.
The FIA is launching an investigation into what happened in the accident.
"We will look at it all and undertake a full investigation of the whole incident, and what we can learn," said race director Michael Masi to Sky Sports F1.
Grosjean speaks from hospital bed: Halo saved my life
Appearing in good spirits as he posted an Instagram video from his hospital bed, the Frenchman thanked medical teams at both the circuit and the hospital - and credited the Halo head protection device, introduced to F1 in 2018, for allowing him to walk away from the accident.
"Hello everyone, just wanted to say I am okay... sort of okay," he said, as he waved hands heavily wrapped in bandages.
"Thank you very much for all the messages."
"I wasn't for the Halo some years ago but I think it's the greatest thing we brought for Formula 1, and without it I wouldn't be able to speak to you today.
"Thanks to all the medical staff at the circuit and at the hospital and hopefully I can write to you quite soon some messages and tell you how it's going."
Haas boss Guenther Steiner earlier told Sky F1: "I just spoke with him on the phone, he's in a clear state of mind, he is good.
"They are still staying at hospital overnight, they want to keep him there, but he told me that he feels good, nothing is broken. He's got his hand bandaged from the burns, he was very happy."
Grosjean's 'miracle' escape from violent crash
Sky F1's Martin Brundle after the crash that it was a "miracle he survived".
"It pierced the barriers like a can opener," added Brundle. "They're constantly trying to improve the structural stability of the chassis and that's just saved his life. That is extraordinary.
"He survived the impact, and the fire."
The front half of Grosjean's car was wedged into the barriers, which were repaired ahead of the race restart. Damon Hill added: "It certainly looked like the Halo has saved his life there."
Drivers gathered in the pit-lane and they, and team members, appeared shaken when looking at footage of Grosjean's crash. Haas boss Guenther Steiner was thankful for the speedy help from those nearby.
"I want to thank the rescue crews, they were there very quick - the marshals and the FIA people they did a great job.
"It was scary. He got away with it, I think."
Alan van der Merwe, the driver of the FIA's medical car, was one of the first to arrive at the scene with FIA doctor Ian Roberts, who helped rescue Grosjean from the flames
"It was a big surprise. I have never seen that much fire in 12 years," said Van der Merwe.
"Romain got out of the car himself, which is pretty amazing after an accident like that.
"All the systems we have worked to develop, everything worked hand-in-hand: the halo, the barriers, the seat-belt. Everything worked. Without just one of those things working, it could have been a very different outcome."
An FIA spokesman said the impact of Grosjean's crash was measured at 53G.
The accident was triggered when the Haas driver swerved across the front of Daniil Kvyat, making contact with his AlphaTauri.
Lewis Hamilton, who secured 11th victory of F1 2020 after converting pole despite the early red flag, tweeted that he was "so grateful Romain is safe".
He added: "Wow... the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do."