Romain Grosjean has spoken for the first time about his escape from a shocking crash at the start of last week’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean said he was reminded of Niki Lauda’s crash during the 1976 German Grand Prix, which left the Austrian world champion with severe burns.
“I saw my visor was all orange and the flames around me,” Grosjean told TF1 and LCI in an interview. “The accident of Niki Lauda came to mind. I didn’t want to end up like that. I had to get out for my children.”
He said the crash was unlike anything he’d seen in a film. “Even in Hollywood, it does not exist,” he said. “I have never seen a crash like that in my life.
“I stayed 28 seconds in the flames but it seemed much longer, as I tried to get out of the tub three times. After this accident, I’m happy to be alive.”
“To get out of the seat, I was able to remove my seat belt,” he added. “The steering wheel was no longer there, [it] probably flew off during the impact.”
One of Grosjean’s boots also came off during the crash. “In the end, my hands were burnt and I had a big sprain, I thought I had broken my foot.”
He has since begun recovery in a hospital in Bahrain and hopes to return to racing at next week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I was more afraid for my relatives, my children in the first place, but also my father and my mother,” said Grosjean. “I was not really afraid for myself. I saw death coming, I had no other option but to get out of there.”
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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix
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- Grosjean reveals extent of burns to right hand
- ‘I put both my hands in the fire’: Grosjean describes his 28 seconds trapped in an inferno
- “Thank you for saving my life” Grosjean tells crash scene marshals
- The urgent questions F1 must answer following Grosjean’s fireball crash