Former Halo critic Grosjean declares “it’s the greatest thing we’ve brought to F1” after crash

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Romain Grosjean, who criticised the Halo when it was introduced three years ago, praised the safety structure following his huge crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Haas driver was one of the staunchest critics of the Halo when the FIA approved it for introduction to Formula 1. “It is not F1,” said Grosjean in 2017.

However footage of Grosjean’s massive crash on lap one of today’s race has already prompted some to claim it saved his life. Formula 1 director Ross Brawn said there is “absolutely no doubt the Halo was the factor that saved the day and saved Romain”.

Speaking from his hospital bed in a video published on social media, Grosjean admitted he has changed his mind about the Halo.

“I wasn’t for the Halo some years ago but I think it’s the greatest thing that we’ve brought to Formula 1,” he said. “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,” he added.

Grosjean’s team has confirmed he sustained no broken bones in the crash but has suffered minor burns on his hands, which are heavily bandaged. “Hopefully I can write to you soon some messages and tell you how it’s going,” Grosjean added.

Several of Grosjean’s rivals also praised the Halo’s role in protecting him.

“It’s unbelievable,” said George Russell. “I think had the Halo not been there, I’m sure it would have been an incredibly different outcome. And the way he walked away anyway was incredible.”

“The safety has moved along so much in recent years,” he added. “So we can only be grateful.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

19 comments on “Former Halo critic Grosjean declares “it’s the greatest thing we’ve brought to F1” after crash”

  1. I hated it as well Romain.
    I am delighted that we were both wrong ;)

    1. I was also in that camp. I also think a closed cockpit would have ended up being much worse than the halo. Fair play to the FIA, they did all the right things with regards the halo and should be applauded.

      1. I would have a screen added to deflect small objects.

  2. Unbelievable and wonderful that he’s well enough to share thoughts and feelings, let alone with a smile on his face. That was easily the biggest accident any driver on the grid will ever have. Immensely scary. I don’t want to feel the way I did while watching again any time soon, so I can’t imagine how Romain and his family are feeling tonight.

    Wishing him a good sleep and speedy recovery over the next few days.

    1. I agree. Well said.

  3. I am just utterly astonished to see Romain delivering that video to his followers as earlier today, especially considering the absolute sickness in my stomach I felt watching the crash. When it was introduced in 2017 I was skeptical and saw Halo as understandable but inelegant way to improve safety, and more than anything else, a barrier for the fans to see the drivers at work. However, it has more than once now proved to be a barrier between life and death (or serious injury) and kudos to everyone working to make this sport safer. It’s good to be proven wrong, as it usually means you learnt an important lesson.

  4. I was not against it when it was introduced, but am fully for it now. Every now and then every few years Halo is really handy to have.

    But that fuel cell, what was going on with that? It Basiclly exploded?

    1. @jureo it’s still under investigation, but a working hypothesis is that the initial fire might have been caused by an ancillary pump for the fuel pump system rupturing, and that was what initially burst into flames. The main tank itself might not have completely burst, but it is possible that the impact did cause enough damage to cause some fuel to leak from it and fuelled the fire for some time afterwards.

      1. Thanks for that information. That makes a lot of sense. Could have happened when the rear was ripped of.

        It would also explain why the fire was not quite as big (scary enough though) as it could have been considering the amount of fuel still in the tank.

  5. So glad he is ok and i hope it is not too soon but the driving is why he is not gonna ever race in F1 after this year. Some of the worst driving i have ever seen

  6. Hope it aint too soon but he has no spacial awareness. The thing in Catalunya aswell this is a 10 year vet doing this.

  7. I’m glad he got out relatively unscathed. Hopefully, he can do the remaining two events.

    1. Hopefully the last one now since it’s confirmed he’ll miss next one. I think it’d be nice to have a proper race as last instead of this as a driver.

  8. Incredible that he was able to survive this. I hope it means a stronger push for safety, as always. These accidents make it feel like we’ve come a long way but there’s still some more to go.

    Very happy for Romain.

  9. The way that car went through the barriors, there’s no way he would have survived. It would have been like a scene out of a horror movie. Even after the accident its impossible to imagine how the front of the car got to the other side of that small gap.

    Sky stopped the in car footage before the moment full impact but im sure its under review.

    1. Those cameras send their signal on a slight delay, it’s likely that the footage stopped where it was because that’s what it had sent at the point that it was destroyed

      1. Exactly, this is also why Stroll’s crash cut out just before we see him go upside down.

        The cars do have that 360° camera on the front which records locally, I wonder if they’ll be able to recover footage from that.
        And if i remember correctly they’re also equipped with a mini high speed camera pointing specifically at the drivers head, but I doubt we’ll ever see that.

    2. Sky don’t have footage. It’s the F1 (FOM) world feed. Sky just do the talking bit – they have no directorial privileges, nor do any other TV provider.

  10. The steady increase in F1 safety saved RG’s life. Jackie Stewart should get a peerage for driving that progress – mostly at a time when no one wanted to listen.

Comments are closed.