Bahrain Grand Prix stopped on first lap as Grosjean survives horror crash

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The Bahrain Grand Prix has been red-flagged and stopped on the first lap of the race after Romain Grosjean suffered an appalling crash within seconds of the start.

The Haas driver’s car exploded when he hit a barrier nose-first at the exit of turn three. Grosjean had made contact with Daniil Kvyat at the exit of the corner. Grosjean’s car was travelling at 221kph prior to the moment of impact and is believed to have struck the barrier with a force of 53G.

The impact split the car in two and the car, carrying a full race load of fuel, caught fire. Grosjean freed himself from the car and emerged from a fireball 28 seconds after the initial impact. Marshals and safety officials had already arrived on the scene and begun extinguishing the fire.

The team confirmed in a statement Grosjean has “some minor burns on his hands and ankles but otherwise he is okay.” The Haas driver is being taken to BDF Military Hospital by helicopter with a suspected rib fracture.

The FIA said in a statement that Grosjean was “immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews”. He “self-extricated” from the crash scene and “was conscious at all times”.

The crash caused extensive damage to the barriers. The race was eventually restarted over and hour and a half later.

Lewis Hamilton, who was ahead of the scene at the time of the crash, said on social media he is “so grateful Romain is safe.”

“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. This is a reminder to all.

“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”

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Pictures: Grosjean’s Bahrain Grand Prix crash

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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142 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix stopped on first lap as Grosjean survives horror crash”

  1. Thank goodness he is okay.

    1. Coventry Climax
      29th November 2020, 19:29

      Physically maybe, but mentally is a different thing. I seriously think Romain should stop racing. The man is a threat to himself as well as others. The way he just cut to the right, just baffling. Not using mirrors? Isn’t he supposed to have a sixth sense as to where his fellow drivers are? Realise that moves like that have a very high potential of going wrong?
      I’ve done hanggliding for quite some time. Sometimes there were people coming into the sports that just didn’t have their brain-wiring correct, and had to be denied continuing for the sakes of themselves and their fellow pilots. Same with Romain. He’s had the Spa incident among quite a few others, and now this. He’s a nice guy, but he should persue a career in cooking, I’m afraid. Very glad to see he survived though.

      1. He is one of weakest drivers on the grid mentally, so maybe this is just the end of his racing career.
        I can’t see him going to Indycar after today.

        1. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
          29th November 2020, 20:20

          I wouldn’t blame him if he just gave up, family pressures must be pretty big by now- you don’t want to put them through something like that again.

        2. Unlike F1, dying in an Indy Car accident is always a serious threat. Not the place to be for someone with a history of crashes. So, he’d never do it.

      2. I don’t often comment on this site, but I totally agree with you. RG contributed to this accident, we are lucky there weren’t 2 cars in that fence.

        I’m glad he’s ok, but his choices on track are potentially fatal, both for himself and others. I would love to see him in dtm, ltmp, or tin tops.

  2. Thank god. It’s a miracle he survived that. And for whatever it’s worth, Halo critics silenced forever.

    1. lexusreliabilty?
      29th November 2020, 14:40

      +1. I will gladly admit I was one of them but purely for aesthetic reasons- but I never doubted the safety aspect of it all. I’m still shivering from that- car split in half.

    2. Indeed. I don’t want to think about what would have happened in 2017..

    3. Amen to that. If ever there were doubts about the effectiveness/importance of the halo, they should definitely be silenced now.

    4. For real. I thought it was going to be another Cevert Watkins Glen accident. Halo. A fast medical car. Survival cell. All of that learning brought to bear here. But for sure no halo and grosjean doesnt make it.

    5. Yep hands up I was one. 100% never saying anything again on it. That was a fatal otherwise.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        29th November 2020, 14:53


        1. Same, I wasn’t a fan initially, but I’ll put my hand up and say I’ve been proved wrong. So glad he’s okay.

          1. ditto… however… need Tecpro barriers all the way round the circuit… not just around corners.

      2. I think there are a lot who are thinking the same…. goes for me as well, as ugly as the halo is, glad it’s there

    6. I’m literally shaking after that. I can’t believe he survived.
      Can they even restart today?

    7. Most certainly saved the halo saved his life there. Silenced? No, the crash should never have happened, not only because of bad driving but that barrier has finally caused the crash it threaten to cause. Had the barrier been a tec pro or safer barrier then the halo would not been needed.
      The Spa revamp is proof the fia has realised the fia has gone backwards on safety. Back to using safer barriers and more gravel.
      I hope the crash was not caused by the battery, then the fia is in trouble again. I think I saw the battery on the cockpit side and batteries explode, like the fireball we have seen.
      Heavy fast cars, big battery bombs loads of fuel and poorly protected barriers should be problems of the past not new problems. Watkins ould have never allowed the current state of safety.

      1. correction the fire caused by the battery. Medical car did okay, I’m sure they saw nobody coming out of the car until Romain was almost off, Romain incredibly saved himself and the medics should not have sat Romain on the medical car, again the same mistake as in the f3 race, hopefully no broken verterbrae, straight to the gurney.
        credit where credit is due but there is so much to improve and mistakes not to repeat.

      2. @peartree Really? You’re sure that this was the batteries? Where’s your source?

        Ross Brawn was saying after the race that the resultant fire was a fuel fire and NOT the batteries! In fact throughout the entirety of the broadcast nothing was said about the fire being a battery fire!

        This was a freak accident! The medical car arrived on scene after 5 seconds and Grosjean was out of his car and over the barrier under his own steam 13 seconds later, so no worries there regarding most potentially serious injuries! This also happened halfway along the straight on the inside of the circuit, so the use of a standard barrier, as seen on just about all race circuits in similar areas.

        1. Coventry Climax
          29th November 2020, 19:35

          Battery exploding may have ignited the fuel, but so far, that’s just speculation.
          But if it was, don’t expect the FIA to ever admit to that, though.

        2. It was not the battery. The fuel cells are directly behind the driver and as we saw, the back of the car came off which will have ruptured the fuel cell. The biggest source of direct heat would be the hot engine not the battery. Stop making stuff up… Batteries are pretty safe in comparison to fuel tanks and red hot metal…

          The Barrier though is a major issue. It should not fail like that. It was not even a crash as crazy speed!

        3. @maddme Lee1 do your research and before accusing someone of making stuff up, fact check, search lithium-ion battery explosions.
          the fuelcell is undoubtedly intact, it is on the engine side, clear to see on the rear end of the car, not burned, no soot, no fire marks. The fuel cell is a carbon tub with a rubber bladder inside, only a fuel line was momentarily on fire, the blaze was on the back of the monocoque.
          Maddme I’m not sure the blast is from the battery but what Lee1 does not know is that batteries do explode one way, they do explode is after high impacts when the integrity is compromised and the anodes and catodes of the multiple layers short. you can see a battery on the monocoque side, it is heavily burned. This article mentions a 25 kg battery, there is also a 100 kg battery, don’t know whether that batt is the 25kg or the 100kg. Lithium-ion battery explosions fizz and make big fireballs and the flames die out very quickly as well. It could be fuel from the aforementioned 2-3 litre “collector” but certainly very little as otherwise it would have kept re-igniting.

      3. I do suspect that it will be worthwhile investigating the role of the lithium battery pack in the fire – even if the fuel system started it. Lithium batteries are known for the way they can burn and virtually explode.

      4. @maddme I have to agree with @peartree on the barrier.

        It was clear to see from the aerial footage that the wall directly opposite Grosjean’s crash site — which was also angled out for track access — was outfitted with tyre barriers. There’s a certain amount of complacency on the part of FIA and the circuit designers to decide to place them on that side and not on the one that Grosjean hit. Of course, they assumed that the tyres wouldn’t be necessary on the inside wall.

        Clearly, they assumed wrong.

        And really, the crash site was so far down the straightaway and the bend before it is so gentle that it wouldn’t really seem as if one side would be heavily favoured to see a crash while the other one wasn’t — there was no residual lateral load in the car at the point where Grosjean and Kvyat collided. Hopefully going forward, walls that are angled out like will never be fully-exposed Armco.

        1. @markzastrow I agree and it was an highly unlikely accident but often on that straight, cars run to the sand, rosberg vs Hamilton for instances, there have been more, that part sticks way too much, not that it would matter on this crash, just that someday that access barrier was going to feature a crash.

    8. Nope. Not a miracle. A huge amount of research and work. From Bandini to Bianchi, we learn from the worst incidents and Romain is alive today because of so many who are not.

      1. CoD right there.

        So much BS and “theories” spouted and the reality is exactly what @tommy-c says.

        This is the learning of all that have died and been injured in the sport and the proof they didn’t die in vain. Lessons have been learned and more will be learned today.

        1. That Marshall needs to watch the horrific video of what happened to Tom Pryce.

          1. @djdaveyp87 Yeah, I thought that too… both what it did to Tom Pryce and what was left of the Marshall…

      2. The miracle is the car didn’t stop with a piece of Armco over the top of the halo.
        Look at the last pic. The back of the seat and Armco right at the rear of it.
        30cm further forward and Grosjean would not have been able to climb out.

    9. For sure. I remember the endless discussions I and others had with the halo critics, with people downright arguing that “F1 should be unsafe” because that was part of the appeal of the sport. Proving once again that the last people one should listen to in F1 is its fandom.

      Both the Halo and Indy’s aeroscreen have already more than proven their worth and are up there with the safety cell and HANS system as the top 3 safety measures to ever be introduced in the sport. Big round of applause for the FIA for making it happen despite the criticism.

  3. lexusreliabilty?
    29th November 2020, 14:38

    Reminded me of Spa 2012. Chilling incident. Glad Romain is okay.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      29th November 2020, 14:55

      It reminds me of Kubica in Canada, angle-wise, except instead of bouncing off concrete he pierced the armco

  4. When that fireball went up, I was absolutely convinced we were looking at a fatal accident. The way the car went in, the immediateness of the flames, it didn’t look good.

    I think we all slumped with relief to the same degree when they announced he was okay and showed him sat in the medical car concious and chatting with the medics.

    Absolutely horrifying, yet an absolute testament to how safety has come in the last few decades.

    1. Yes I thought it was fatal too.
      Not helped by how long it took them to put replays up.

      Now I just hope GRO has no long term injuries, but so happy to see him walk away from the scene.

      1. Henrik Møller Jørgensen
        29th November 2020, 17:40

        I was also convinced this was fatal: GRO had just hit 7th gear. Onboard from BOT and RAI tells me that happens around 260 km/h or 70 m/s. My math says, that if he decelerated from 60 m/s over the cause of 2 meters he took to the tune of a hundred G’s. That Hass to be wrong. Sainz came unscathed from 46 G in Sochi 2015 through.

        1. I’m surprised by all these people thinking it was fatal; yes, it was a bad accident, but f1 has made incredible strides in the last 20 years on safety measures, I’ve seen cars flipping over and over and over and the driver walk away unscathed, I was absolutely confident that as long as they’d come fast with the fire extinguishers he’d survive, however I got surprised he managed to jump out that soon.

          1. It only would have taken part of that barrier going under the halo or though the side of the car for it to be fatal, or for Grosjean to be trapped in the car.

            It was close and to think it wasn’t is being flippant.

          2. I think that speed of deceleration could easily knock you out, or at least dazed enough not to escape flames. The Armco could have easily trapped him in the cell with a raging inferno around him. Even a few breaths of that in your lungs could be fatal. Nope, I don’t agree.

      2. What???!!! OK so you get a job at FOM then and watch the footage, potentially of a man being decapitated/crushed and burnt to death. Sorry, but I’d be in no rush to watch that just so that if he’s OK I can show the world. We got word he amazingly still alive first and soon after we got the footage. I’m perfectly happy with how we got the footage.

        Are you one of those that slow down to see an accident as you drive past?

        1. I think you misunderstood him… or at least, I didn’t read it that way. I felt like it had to be bad because they were avoiding showing us the replays, NOT because I wanted to see any kind of carnage, but usually when they don’t show the replays it’s because something bad happened.

    2. @nikkit as you say, the immediateness of the flames was something that was a real shock, because that is something we’ve not seen for decades and I think stunned many into realising the violence of what happened.

      There will, no doubt, be a hard and long look at what happened and what we can learn, but for now I think most are just relieved that Grosjean’s come out of it with, thankfully, what seems like comparatively light injuries.

    3. I thought for sure he was done for. They delay replays in the event of a potentially deadly accident so they don’t live stream someone’s death. After 30 seconds in a chemical fire I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t have some kind of lung damage.

    4. Agreed – I immediately told my wife that nobody can get out of that alive. What a relief!

  5. What a fantastic effort by everyone involved in making this sport safe to a level that Romain walked away without any serious injury. This was by far the worst accident I have seen in 25 years of watching F1.

  6. Medical car drivers. Oh my god those guys had nerves of steel. I’m still trying to process what I just saw.

    1. There were the only ones on the scene in full fireproofs. Im sure they would have gone in, if the driver was unconscious.

      1. They ** were the only ones..

    2. When the medical car first arrived and saw the car had split, they first didn’t have any idea where the driver was. Not until they saw Grosjean moving did they know he was in the fire. I was greatly encouraged that they were willing to go towards the flames to extricate him is need be.

    3. I thought the medical car staff did well.

      But today it should be beyond obvious that the marshalls need more training. First man, trackside, did not know to pull pin from fire extinguisher. Professionals from medical car we’re helping him get the pin out to use the fire extinguisher. All Marshalls should have real hands-on fire extinguisher training.

      first man from the outside the barrier was so far back he was completely useless. It was good that he had the sense to come beside the fire where he could see the other responders, otherwise he would have gotten blasted with hot flames when the trackside fire extinguisher came on. But he was wasting his extinguisher spraying hopelessly from too far back. Hands-On training would have helped, and it might have helped his courage too.

      Finally the marshal one-track in front of Norris. Completely unacceptable.

      We see the engineering worked great today. The professionals in the safety car worked great. The track side marshals need some help.

      1. The marshal training does appear to need some rethinking. It’s been poor this year. Maybe covid had its way and we’ve had new marshals with less experience.

        However while medics are trained a huge amount, I’m sure they have seen their fair share of horrific scenes. The marshals less so, and if I was there, I’m not sure I’d be thinking straight having seen a car go through a barrier, separate in two in a ball of fire and not having a clue even if the driver is in one piece.

        1. @invisiblekid Exactly, the marshal may well have known how to work a fire extinguisher, but without specific and lengthy training for dealing with emergency and crisis situations, it’s difficult to blame anyone for freezing or forgetting how to do fairly simple things in the heat of the moment.

      2. @slotopen Yeah that was bad. When marshalling can mean the difference between life and death, you’d think they would at least know how to get a fire extinguisher going.

        The Sky team were even praising these Marshalls for being extra well trained, which begs the question what other tracks are like. Goodness.

      3. Well said. Very poor marshalling I thought – some of the marshalls appeared to be wearing flip flops. many of them were grossly overweight. The guy who ran across the track needs to be fired. Oh, he’s a volunteer… It raises the question of why a multi-billion dollar business that pays drivers millions per race cannot afford to properly train and equip marshalls. Relying on volunteers is bad enough, but relying on untrained and poorly-equipped volunteers is quite another.

  7. Not gonna complain about Halo after this year.

    1. You’re not the only one. After that crash with Leclerc at Belgium 2018, I never complained.

      1. Nah, Spa 2018 did absolutely no convincing to me at all, halo got hit cause of how to protrudes, helmet wouldn’t have been. IMO, of course. And no disrespect.

        Today though? Case closed. Oh my God.

        1. Case closed.

          Clearly is.

  8. mon dieu, best outcome in an unlucky situation – trapped or knocked unconscious and that could easily be fatal.

    1. Agreed. It seems the Halo may which became detach may have taken some of the impact, sparking the driver from head impact.

      1. To go through that barrier at that speed, no helmet is going to save any driver. The Halo was the only reason we didn’t have an accident like Cevert’s.

  9. So grateful that Grosjean managed to get out with what are believed to be not so serious injuries.

    Today I have seen something I never want to see in F1 again, that was horrific!!!!

    For those who get excited over crashes and the good old days ???

    We can be thankful that safety standards and precautions have improved.

    But still quite upsetting really.

    1. + 1. Never want to see this kind of incident again.

  10. Most horrible crash I’ve ever seen. Glad Romain is OK.

  11. The most horrific crash I have seen while watching Formula One since 1997. Incredibly lucky that he stayed conscious and could climb out of the car and escape the fire.

  12. Ok, i’m going to say it- i had not given this sort of sceenario much thought, though i did sometimes see these kinds of barrier with the ‘unprotected’ top of the guardrail and wonder why they don’t put fencing on there to protect from a car crashing on the top of it and getting sliced.
    but now i really have to ask- HOW ON EARTH do they still use barriers that still have the exact same safety issues that killed drivers in the 70ies?

    1. as in, i had just quietly figured out a way to prevent this sort of thing.
      Bianchi was a freak accident and poor execution of existing safety protocol. THIS can happen anytime.

    2. …*had assumed they had just quietly…

    3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      29th November 2020, 14:57

      Yeah Scott Dixon had an accident in Indycar where he nearly came head-down on the top of the barrier which made me think the same thing

    4. @mrboerns
      Easy answer: because it’s cheeper
      On a more serious note, the FIA seriously need to think about from now on. The whole track needs to be up the highest safety standards, not just the most critical parts of it. Tecpro or any similar type of barriers need to be installed on every part of every racetrack!
      IMO, I’d feel very uncomfortable, if they were to re-start the race. Until there isn’t any safer solution, there can’t be any racing going on. They should cancel today’s and even next week’s race, if the track owners can’t find a safer solution.

    5. @mrboerns It’s really incredible

  13. The track fire marshall was utterly useless, and why are we still using guardrail in 2020?

    1. I’d say his equipment wasn’t fit for purpose. Looked like it was too hot to get closer and the difference in his extinguisher compared to the medical car one was stark.

      1. Agreed, the marshall wasn’t wearing fireproof clothing and was using a fire extinguisher better suited to the garage at my house.
        I certainly hope the FIA take a good long look at this accident in regards to the barriers and fire suppression equipment.

    2. True. But in fairness he had no proper gear and was on the wrong side to help grosjean. That heat would have been incredible.

      1. The same thing that struck me too. The medical car’s fire extingisher was what you needed to put out a fire at some distance. It projected its chemical. Where as the other fire crew’s extingisher just wafted towards the fire. If they can’t get close, they should have extinghers which project more forcefully. Eg the best equipment going.

        I noticed the rear of the car seemed largely undamage, then found the following to suggest what was happening.
        This image shows the likely placement of the fuel tanks, just behind the driver’s back.

        1. If the whole tank had ruptured, I doubt anyone would be coming out of that car because the heat would have been too intense and also cover a wider area.

    3. What a horrible thing to say. One Marshall I saw was running to the crash even before all the bits of the car had landed. Any other nasty words of wisdom after the event?

    4. I think the marshal was doing their very best in a very difficult situation, the heat would have been incredible and their extinguisher seemed ill equipped, certainly compared to the ones that came out of the medical car. I can’t imagine the marshal knew where Romain was at that point, there were wheels, fire, the back end of a Haas 20ft away. I think most people would look the way that marshal did in slow motion replays. Don’t forget moments earlier they’d witnessed a car coming in their direction and then a huge bang. I doubt many would have done better or been braver.

    5. The marshall was unfortunately already at the wrong point when the accident happened and was only looking through a huge ball of flames and intense heat. He would have been unable to see the driver.

    6. I think I agree with you. I see many here don’t, he looked to me like he had enough kit that he could have gotten way closer than he did. He didn’t have safety glasses though.

      he did one thing right, and that was move to the side where he could see the responders on the track side of the barrier. if he hadn’t moved he would have gotten a hot face full of burning material..

      but I think I’m with you, I think he was probably ill-trained for it and that made it harder for him to be exactly where he needed to be and confident with how close he could get.

  14. Marinated Monolith (@)
    29th November 2020, 14:48

    Started crying seconds after I saw the impact. Cried for an entirely different reason once I saw Grosjean’s already awake in the medical car.

    It’s insane how the drivers could still race in after seeing that, especially considering some of them are parents now.

    1. Same. I was barely holding it together.

    2. Wait…? What? Why?

      1. Because people are different, and people react to accidents in different ways.

        1. Fair enough but still…

          1. Just to be clear… I’ve never seen anything like that in my 40 years. Absolutely amazing that he has walked away virtually unscathed. Crazy.
            Didn’t bring me to tears mind.

          2. Ah, I was talking more about the second half of their comment – “It’s insane how the drivers could still race in after seeing that, especially considering some of them are parents now.” – though I will admit, I did have a tear in my eye seeing him OK. But then, I cry just because a disney film has played some emotion manipulating music, so I guess I stand by my comment to both parts!! It does work both ways though, and I won’t brook criticism of someone for not showing emotions either!

      2. Because for a while it looked like we had just witnessed someone being horrifically killed? They might not have witnessed a crash like this before live?

        I didn’t cry, but I was shaking. Seeing it live makes a world of difference to how i react to huge crashes. Say Billy Monger, I saw that much later having known the outcome. It was still horrific to watch, but seeing that live? Ooof.

        1. The relief of seeing him get out of the car was the emotional part for me. It’s the first time I’ve seen an incident of that magnitude and not known if the driver was ok. I was equally shocked watching kubica in Canada 07 and Webber at Valencia in 2010 as examples but we could see the driver respond immediately. Seeing grosjean sitting in the medical car was an overwhelming relief and made me immediately think of the countless drivers who didn’t make it, sometimes in far more innocuous incidents. It sure makes you appreciate how far the sport has come in 60 years but highlights there’s always room to improve.

    3. I’m not really emotional most of the time but even I was shaking. I was 100 percent sure he was dead after seeing the huge ball of fire + the lack of replays afterward.

    4. I was exactly the same tears of devastation and then of relief / disbelief.

      And then the Marshall crossing the track in front of Norris… What on earth was that disgrace. 2 escapes in one day.

    5. Not crying but sent the kids out of the room until he was out of the car

  15. …*had assumed they had just quietly…

  16. Incredible imagies.

    Does anyone know if the Drivers wear flame / Heat resistent gloves?
    the only other thing to note is it was a few seconds before marshals on the scene had their
    fire extishers going.

    Thank god the driver was conscious and able to extract himself from the car, as i doubt the marshalls were wearing fireproofs. The medical car’s crew obviously were wearing full racing fireproofs, but not the marshals.

    1. Yes they do. What I know is that 20s is the maximum time that those clothes can resist flames. So a few seconds more and the outcome would have been totally different

      1. The fire will consume oxygen, breathing difficult. Super hot smoke will damage lungs.

        Driver wears multiple layers, each offering protection – weak points ankle and wrist, and face if visor isn’t fully closed.

        May not burn, but getting cooked if in that ball of fire for more than 30 seconds, yikes!

      2. He was in it for 27 seconds, so minor burns sounds about right since its slightly above the limit.

  17. Horrible crash, I’m actually shaking still. The initial explosion was shocking, and when there was no footage of Grosjean getting out of the car for some time you really fear the worse.

    So glad he only has minor injuries. I was always a bit sceptical about halos but after today I am 100% in support of them.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was black flagged, there’s a lot of track damage.

    1. At least 40 mins to rebuild barrior. But should continue as a non fatality, in keeping with the history of this sport.

  18. Theres always areas they can do more. I was saying to a friend yesterday the cars parking on the circuit during qually is an accident waiting to happen if the guy on a quick lap has a puncture or like Sainz did spin when something breaks. I did think the barrier angle looked like it made it worse but he did survive and even tec pro wouldn’t necessarily stop this one

  19. When I saw the ball of fire, I thought it was a fatal accident. The fact that the transmission decided to keep following that cars seemed to confirm it. I thought they just didn’t show gore images of what happened. And then we saw the images of Romain coming out of the fire. Truly horrific crash.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      29th November 2020, 15:00

      Yep last time we didn’t get a replay was Bianchi so I had that same sinking feeling

  20. Bloody hell, when I first saw the crash I though it was going to be a Cevert like crash. That was horrific, the driver’s cell was stuck in the barrier. Thank god, he is OK.

  21. Utterly crazy crash. Weirdly as the drivers were getting in their cars I was explaining to my daughter why they wear all the gear that they do.

  22. Thank god Romain has survived that nasty shunt! I was seriously worried when the cameras showed neither him or his car, but instead just showed the rest of the pack.
    I don’t remember seeing such a severe crash ever. Seeing the severity of the crash, it raises an important question: Why aren’t there any tecpro-barriers?!
    It wouldn’t even surprise me, if they’d now cancel the 2nd race. IMO, they need to find a better solution than guard rails for that part of the track. If the track owners can’t find a safer solution within the next few days, than F1 should seriously consider cancelling the next round there.

    1. Good points. I think tracks generally have Armco away from corners? But here the barrier was basically facing the course. Not good. They need to look at that.

      1. It’s to create a safe gap in the barriers for access vehicles – the barrier he hit is designed to protect cars from the end of the barrier where the gap is, it is a gentle diagonal to ensure that all barrier ends face away from the direction of the cars. The issue here was that he was effectively pit-manoeuvred, so he hit it at a far more dangerous angle.

  23. Sky is say 18 seconds from impact to extraction, Turn 3.

    1. I counted between 25 and 30 from one continues shot

      You don’t want to think about him being unconscious…

      Or without halo… in that case the question of the amount of time spent in the fire would be irrelevant I’m afraid…

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        29th November 2020, 19:35

        I was counting too and I was at 20+

  24. Similar accidents – piercing the layers of Armco barrier – killed Helmuth Koinigg and Francois Cevert, both at Watkins Glen.

    The Halo and safety cell integrity saved Romaine’s life, no doubt.

  25. Medical car crew will be back on duty with the restart… no doubt prepping their car with fresh supplies..

  26. Motor racing at the highest level is a dangerous sport. This is why the drivers are paid as they are.
    Capping pay? I’d like to hear that argument now.

    1. Absolutely! Thats why they earned so much more in the 70s when racing was much more dangerous……

      And also why Ham earns more than say Latifi. Because its so much more risky in the faster car.

      1. Whatever and wherever you race it is dangerous. Every race car is fast and it doesn’t matter what do you drive the risk is always there.

      2. Not like this.. its equally risky.. and hardly matter driving 330 km or 315 km/hr. Rather less competitive cars are configure by negotiating some grips n areo.

        1. To make it clear: i meant it ironic. Apparently it wasnt exagerated enough for everybody to realise.
          Of Course every driver shares the same risk. Thats why the risk has nothing to do with the money they earn. In contrast lesser racingclasses are usually more dangerous because the safety measurements arent as strict as in F1.

          1. Indeed, accidents like this are so rare in f1 that at that point you can just have a normal racing accident with a road car while going to buy food and can have worse results than grosjean did here, f1 is no more dangerous than that nowadays, everything considered, and if you consider the amount of yearly deaths on road accidents, I doubt f1 was EVER as dangerous as those.

      3. Ham earns more than Latifi because he is a better more experience driver that can deliver consistent results (as Bottas has shown, strong car alone is not enough). And thus he has more negotiating power during contract discussions.

        Having many world titles under your belt is also a good look for a team.

    2. Yet nothing for unpaid marshalls? One of the was almost hit by a tyre, and a few races ago by a car at Imola, and they should stick to 0, but 20m is not enough for the drivers?

      1. They volunteered for it for free. Supply of people want to become marshalls greatly exceeds demand for it. They just want to be there. It is not a job for them.

        1. Compared to drivers who want to be in F1? Such a horrible drag that 20m is not nearly enough? What kind of logic is that?

  27. Not all heroes wear capes.

    Today they were in fire proof overalls. The medical car staff were just amazing, totally selfless, running towards a fireball with the thought in their mind that they may be going in.

    1. @johnnik +1 Fully agree, incredibly brave to approach a car in flames full of batteries. Superb training all round.

  28. Glad Grosjean is okay. Glad F1 is safe and it will be safer after this GP. Accident post analysis can be left for other day.

  29. It was quite a blessing that he didn’t get knocked out. And it was amazing to watch him climb out of a seriously real inferno. Was almost surrealistic. My head is still spinning. So thankful he’s ok. And as much as I hated the halo, it saved his life. Hard to argue with that.

  30. Never seen anything like that in F1, hope I never do again. Watching it live I felt pretty sick after the camera stayed away for so long, but when it actually happened I admit I had more optimism. On the live feed you could see the rear of the car come to rest a small distance away from the intense area of fire – so my instant assumption was that the main fire was in the barrier, and the car and driver were a few metres away from it, still on fire but not in the ‘hot spot’.

    The idea that an F1 car could break in two, and that the front of the car wasn’t attached to the rear wheels that I saw at a ‘safer’ distance, didn’t even cross my mind… and I didn’t come close to appreciating what a incredible escape he’d had until I saw the replays and pictures of the survival cell.

    1. I had no optimism at all. My immediate thought was, well quite honestly, there was nothing left of him. Had there been no explosion, then yeah survivable, but knowing what would have to happen for a fire like that? Nah I thought he’s just in a lot more than one piece.

  31. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th November 2020, 19:33

    A miracle for sure – no doubt without all the safety advances that F1 has pioneered, Romain would not have survived this.

    I’m so glad he’s fine – when I saw the explosion on TV, I assumed whoever was driving that car had sadly died.

    Romain must be Superman to withstand all the impact force – has anyone checked under his uniform to see if he’s wearing a cape with a large S on it?

    And for the record – give the person responsible for the Halo and the Haas implementation a huge bonus! I was against it but obviously I was dead wrong.

    Same for the medical crew and marshalls!

  32. That was shocking. No doubt a fatal accident if not for the halo. Kudos to those implementing it (and people here admitting they were wrong to speak against it).

    Grosjean should see the writing on the wall and quit racing. Yes, it’s not uncommon for people on their way out to become careless and even reckless, but it’s been too much now.

    1. He didnt do much wrong. He saw chaos at the front and tried to prempt evade it early. But he didnt see Kvyiat due to the terrible mirrors/blind spot.

      Its a first lap incident that went freakishly wrong but nobody was to blame. Whatever stupid things Grosjean has done in the past, he didnt do it here.

      1. @yaru Yes he did. Wander completely across the track during the first corners with cars everywhere was just a gamble, nothing less. Risk assessment has always been Grosjean’s trouble.

  33. It’s really amazing that Grosjean walked away from that with zero broken bones. 53G by some estimates. Kudos deserve to be given all around but there are some lessons to be learned from this as well.

    1) Why is Armco still used and not SAFER or Tecpro barriers everywhere where tyre barriers and gravel are not used? I realize that the FIA deemed a crash unlikely in this spot but the Armco splitting showed how dangerous it is. The concrete barrier they replaced it with I think would have been an even worse impact. Yes, Grosjean would not have lodged between it but the sudden deceleration of hitting concrete would have most likely caused much larger injuries. NASCAR and Indy Car have found this to be true after every accident that occurred with Armco or concrete.

    2) The halo clearly saved Romain from a fatal head injury and that is a remarkable achievement. But in looking at the pictures you can see that the impact has caused the carbon fibre tub to crack and split at the front mounting point. ~53G is a lot to absorb at that point and it’s not surprising it cracked the tub. They are lucky there were not serious leg injuries that may have resulted from the tub splitting where it split. Grosjean would not have been able to make it out if his legs had been injured since he was on his own due to the fire.

    3) The medical car team reacted very well. But they could not approach Grosjean to extract him from the car because they lacked more heat resistant gear over their face. They may need full face protection in some form if they are expected to extract a driver from a car engulfed in flames or if there are toxic fumes from a battery explosion. Maybe they need an extraction team alongside the medical team.

  34. Thinking back to Mugello, some of the starts have been fairly wild this year. I’m not sure if it’s the highly competitive midfield, a lot of feisty drivers, or the cars themselves, maybe their weight or just their sheer power. But you can see these concertina ripples causing problems down the grid. In this case, as the Sky commentary pointed out, Bottas’s poor start, dropping back, ended up allowing some to jump quite a few places, while others were being backed up, which led to the bunch of cars Romain was trying to avoid, swerving (very Romain Grosjean style it has to be said) across the track into Kyvat’s path. Being clipped was kind of inevitable, but the violence of what followed was truly shocking. FIA need to look into this: some of the worst accidents are happening on straights, not corners, and really the trackside protective measures need to account for possibility of cars being sent off at an angle at high speeds. Clearly this is tricky. As we saw, being able to penetrate the Armco is incredibly dangerous. But so is too much absorption and recoil, when cars can be sent flying back on track with zero control.

  35. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    30th November 2020, 5:34

    Based on the feed shown on TV, one surprising thing was the absence of a fire truck just after the crash, and in the events that followed. The medical crew had powerful extinguishers which took care of the situation. But it could have easily been worse- a broken leg or arm, being knocked out unconscious, simply unable to get out due to lack of space, a massive inferno- and a specialized crew would have been needed to put out the fire and extract the driver out of the car.

    1. @asleepatthewheel Good point. Where was the fire truck?

  36. Glad he is ok and glad that he’s out of F1. This is not the first near fatal incident that Romain has created. He’s an absolute mess of a talent who on his day is exceptionally quick and consistent but sadly, such days are 1/100.

    Also, don’t understand why was he rated the Driver of the Day? Just for being safe?

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