Grosjean back in F1 paddock just FOUR days after fiery crash
Romain Grosjean returned to the F1 paddock in Bahrain on Thursday just four days after he almost lost his life at the circuit in a fiery crash.
The Haas driver, who was discharged from hospital on Wednesday, was wearing bandages to help the burns on his hands and a protective boot on his left ankle.
The 34-year-old met up again with his team, along with FIA doctor Ian Roberts and medical car driver Alan van der Merwe, as well as the marshals who all played a part in saving his life, while there was a special hug reserved his trackside engineer Dom Haines.
Grosjean, who will miss this weekend’s race which takes place at the same circuit but on the Outer Track, will be replaced by rookie Pietro Fittipaldi.
Grosjean is hoping to recover in time to compete in the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen believes the Frenchman will be a frustrated bystander this weekend.
The pair caught up in the paddock and Magnussen said: “Everything taken into consideration I would say [he is] really good. His spirit is incredible after what he has just been through.
“He is very positive and reflective of the whole thing and he seems pretty strong about it, I have to say. I just have to take my hat off to him.
“I went to see him straight after the race on Sunday, literally a few hours after his escape from those scenes on the track, and already then he was immediately talking about wanting to get back in the car.”
The accident, in which Grosjean’s car speared through the barriers and burst into flames, left the sport’s safety bosses with plenty of questions but the overarching feeling was one of relief to see him get himself out of the car.
Magnussen was ahead of the incident on the track, but conceded he was filled with concern after seeing the aftermath when he made it around turn eight on the opening lap.
He added: “I could see all the fire and smoke and I was thinking when a fire is that big it has to be the fuel cell and to have the fuel cell rupture the crash has to be enormous. I was getting worried about that.
“They were telling me he was out the car and that was comforting but really then, in the pit lane, I could see the replays on the screen, which looked horrible.
“I’ve had a pretty big impact myself [in the past] and I could feel it wouldn’t take a lot more before I would have problems internally. So even if you can walk away, I was just getting nervous, hoping that he would be fine.
“That period, during the stoppage, it was pretty horrible. You suddenly wake up from this dream world where you walk around thinking nothing is going to happen and you see a crash like that and it suddenly becomes very real.
“To get back in the car straight after, it didn’t quite feel right.”
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