Warning: Video shows Haas driver Romain Grosjean walking away from an inferno after a first-lap crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean has spoken about how he “saw death coming” as he recalled the trauma of his frightening fiery accident and miracle escape in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean continues his recovery in hospital in Bahrain, where he will spend a third night amid treatment for burns to the back of both of his hands.
He is expecting to be discharged on Wednesday.
“Getting better and better. Obviously a few parts a bit painful but it’s ok,” said the Haas driver in a video posted from hospital on social media. “After what happened, I guess the pain is not too bad. I’m happy to be alive and to talk to you.”
The season finale was already scheduled to be his last race for Haas and, most likely, in F1 altogether after 10 seasons with no contract for 2021.
In his first interview from hospital with France’s TF1, Grosjean said: “I don’t know if the word ‘miracle’ exists or if we can use it, but in any case, it wasn’t my time [to go].
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“It felt to me like it lasted much longer than 28 seconds.
“I saw that my whole visor was orange and there were flames to the left of the car. I was thinking about many things, particularly Niki Lauda [who suffered severe burns in an accident at the 1976 German GP], and I didn’t want to end up like him.
“I said to myself, “My F1 career can’t end like this. I told myself that I had to get out of there for my kids.”
“I was more scared for my immediate family, my children first of all,” said the Frenchman. “Because they’re my biggest source of pride and energy, than for myself.
“I think there’ll be some psychological work to do because I saw death coming.
2:00 Warning: Video shows Haas driver Romain Grosjean walking away from an inferno after a first-lap crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“I don’t think they’d be able to do anything quite like that even in Hollywood.
“It’s the biggest crash I’ve seen in my life with the car catching fire and exploding. The battery also caught fire, adding so much energy to the impact.”
Grosjean, who spent almost half a minute trapped in the flames, said: “It was almost like a rebirth and coming out of the flames that day is something that will mark my life forever.”