The scale of Romain Grosjean’s crash on the first lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix shocked the FIA’s Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe.
“We’ve never seen that much fire,” said van der Merwe, who arrived on the scene within seconds of the crash.
“In 12 years, I’ve never seen that much fire at an impact like that. We just took a little while to process what was going on.”
Although the force of the impact was sufficient to break his car in two, and its monocoque was embedded within the barrier, Grosjean managed to free himself. He emerged from the still-burning wreckage around 28 seconds after striking the barrier.
“I’m sure it was only a second or so, but it felt like ages,” said van der Merwe. “Then Romain just actually started to get out of the car himself, which is pretty amazing after an accident like that.”
Grosjean suffered minor burns in the crash and has been taken to hospital with a suspected rib fracture.
The medical crew were relived to discover he was largely unhurt in the crash, said van der Merwe.
“It just goes to show all the systems that we’ve developed, everything worked hand in hand: The Halo, the barriers, the seat belts, everything worked how it should.
“Without just one of those things, it could have been a very different outcome.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and