Romain Grosjean, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Grosjean to miss Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Fittipaldi to substitute again

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean will not take part in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his Haas team have confirmed, as he continues to recover from his burns.

Next week’s season finale at the Yas Marina circuit was due to be Grosjean’s final start in a Formula 1 car before leaving the team. Haas has announced he will return to his home in Switzerland to continue his recovery from the injuries he sustained in last week’s fiery crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Pietro Fittipaldi, who is substituting for Grosjean in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, will drive for the team again in Abu Dhabi.

Grosjean said missing his final Formula 1 race leaves him “with great sadness”.

“We’ve tried as much as we could with the doctor to recover and to repair my hand, but the risk of racing is too big for my recovery and my health,” said Grosjean. “So the decision was made that I’m not going to race.

“It’s one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s obviously one of the wisest. I will miss the team, but I will be supporting them as ever.”

Grosjean suffered burns to both hands when his car caught fire after he crashed on the first lap of last week’s race. The burns to his left hand are particularly severe, he said on Friday.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said he was “very sorry” Grosjean will not be able to drive for the team in Abu Dhabi. “But we are all in agreement that he has to take the best course of action regarding his treatment and recovery from last Sunday’s incident.

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“Romain has shown exceptional bravery and amazing spirit over the last few days. We know how badly he wanted to be able to return to the cockpit of the VF-20 in Abu Dhabi. And we all would have loved him to have been there too.”

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2016
Grosjean scored points for Haas on their 2016 debut
Grosjean is absent from Haas’s line-up for the first time in their history this weekend. He joined the team for its debut in 2016 from Lotus.

“Romain believed in our Formula 1 project at the very start,” said Steiner. “He committed to drive for us before we’d even built a car.

“There is no doubting the determination and sheer effort he has put into helping us to achieve what we have as a young team in Formula 1. We will forever be grateful for that belief and commitment. It is those qualities, his drive and ambition, that I’m sure will aid him on his recovery.

“On behalf of Gene Haas and myself, together with the whole Haas F1 Team operation, we wish Romain well and a return to full health.”

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2020 Sakhir 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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19 comments on “Grosjean to miss Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Fittipaldi to substitute again”

  1. Perhaps Haas should give him a 1 race deal for 2020, as a proper goodbye. The 2021 French GP?

    1. For 2021*

  2. Better not to take risks at all costs for a single race. Good that P. Fittipaldi gets another chance. For the sake of fairness, no point in giving either one of the upcoming regular drivers a head start over the other.

  3. It’s a shame he can’t get in the cockpit of a formula one car for one last race, but he’s making the best decision he can, all things considered. He clearly has some recovery to do with his hands so it would be impossible to drive a car safely. The fact he’s still alive is remarkable, so I hope he can enjoy time at home with his family and recover physically and mentally from his ordeal. Good luck Romain!

  4. Shame but prudent. I just hope the press don’t accidentally start labelling it as a career ending crash.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th December 2020, 14:23

      That will be really irritating if they do that. Proper F1 sites know what they are talking about, but sometimes when the media just announce things, they sound pretty clueless. Such as the odd time they mention drivers out qualifying one another, they sometimes say by “just” half a second. They really don’t seem to know at times that that is massive in formula one.

      So I really hope they will actually imply that his career was ending anyway and just add that this unfortunately brought it a little earlier.

      1. Especially since he could easily drive at the level he was doing given a month or so, it’s just that he doesn’t have a seat for next year and this one is ending.

  5. His personality would fit very well in Formula E

  6. Considering his career in F1, I’d say he left F1 in style.

    1. Grosjean really broke barriers.

      He set the track on fire. Sadly his career was over in a flash.

      Joking aside, he was talented and fun to watch. He seemed like a decent guy. The final drive w Merc is a nice gesture.

      And to anyone who thinks this isn’t funny, unnecessary, and I’ve screwed up by posting it, I offer my favorite response: “Erickson hit us”

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        6th December 2020, 14:27

        It’s Ericsson, not Erickson. And I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic, but Grosjean never said this. So if you mean it was your favourite response from Grosjean, it literally can’t be as his engineer said it.

        1. @thegianthogweed

          I didn’t say he said, and at least I didn’t say, “Erickson hit me”

          See also:

          “play it again Sam”

          “Luke, I am your father”

  7. What a shame.

    He’s been in his fair share of trouble, and too much of it labelled as his fault so ended up underrated. I’ll never forget how good he was in Singapore ’13 and if he’d had more chances to run at the front it would have turned out better for him.

    I also remember the support he gave to his crew following a loose wheel nut in Australia. I know a lot of people here won’t miss him, but I will.

  8. It’s a great shame but it is the safest and smartest thing to do in the circumstances. Grosjean gets a lot of stick, but he is a model professional and a very quick racing driver. His performances in the latter half of 2013 were pretty remarkable. Thanks for the memories RoGro…

    1. He is a humble person off-track too.

  9. What a way to retire. not totally unexpected all things considered.
    On the flipside I’m sure all drivers wish to retire with a bang.

  10. someone or something
    6th December 2020, 13:47

    A real shame.
    On the bright side, he’s still around. He’s alive and well and smiling, and that’s the single most important thing in the world for a lot of people around him.
    I also can’t help but notice the many wholesome reactions from the paddock, which serve as a reminder that it might not be quite as bad of a shark tank as we think. And that Romain is by no means the pariah a lot of people made him out to be.
    On top of that, his accident was a flaming reminder that safety’s job is never over. Further improvements will be made, but this time, no one had to be hurt badly.

    1. Hopefully he can drop in for a race in 2021 when Mazepin gets the inevitable points ban.

      1. This is going to certainly happen.

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