"I am in peace with myself and I am going to die' - Grosjean's emotional recollection of his fiery crash in his own words
Speaking to Formula 1's international media for the first time since his crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean delivered a powerful and moving recollection of the events that came close to claiming his life on Sunday.
For all the journalists present, it was naturally heart-warming to speak with him again.
The interview session began with the 34-year-old Frenchman simply asked by Haas head of communications Stuart Morrison to go through events after the accident and the 28 seconds during which he fought to escape from his car.
For six minutes Grosjean spoke openly. Below is a detailed and emotional account of what he went through, his bravery and the thoughts that ran through his mind at the time. It is unedited.
"The big question for everyone is 'How was it?' Well, it's the question I have had the most.
"I will bring you through those 28 seconds. First of all, for me, it wasn't quite 28 seconds. It felt more like a minute 30 if I could put a time on it.
"When the car came to a stop, I opened my eyes, I undid my seatbelt straight away.
"The thing I didn't remember the next day was, what did I do with the steering wheel because I don't have the memory of taking the steering wheel off.
"They said no, the steering wheel was gone in between your legs. The column and everything broke and went down so I didn't have to bother with the steering wheel and then I jumped out.
"I feel like something is touching my head so, I sit back down in the car and my first thought was 'I am going to wait. I am upside down against the wall, so I am going to wait until someone comes and helps me'.
"So I wasn't even stressed and then obviously I was not aware at the time there's fire.
Then I look right and left and watching on the left, I see fire.
"So I said 'Okay, I don't really have the time to wait here.' So the next thing is I tried to go up a bit more on the right. It doesn't work. Go again on the left, it doesn't work.
"Sit back down and then thought about Niki Lauda, his accident, thought, it couldn't end like this, it couldn't be my last race, couldn't finish like this. No way.
"So I tried again and I'm stuck. So I go back and then there is the less pleasant moment where my body starts to relax.
"I am in peace with myself and I am going to die.
"I ask the question 'Is it going to burn my shoes or my hand? Is it going to be painful? Where is it going to start?'
"To me, that looks like two, three, four seconds. I guess it was milliseconds at the time.
"Then I think about my kids and they cannot lose their dad today.
"So I don't know why I did but I decided to turn my helmet on the left-hand side, tried to twist my shoulder. That sort of worked but then I realised that my foot was stuck in the car.
"So I sit back down, I pull as hard as I could on my left leg. The shoe stayed where it was but my foot comes out of my shoe.
"Then I do it again, and my shoulder is going through, and at the time the shoulder was through I know I'm going to jump out.
"I had both hands in the fire at that time. My gloves are red normally so I see, especially the left one, was changing colour and starting melting and going full black and I could feel the pain, that my hands are in the fire.
"But also I feel the relief that I am out of the car, and then I jump out and go onto the barrier. I feel Ian [Dr Roberts] pulling on my overall, so I know I am not on my own anymore, there is someone with me.
"Then I land and they like touched on my back so I was like 'Oh shit! I am like a running fireball,' like that image we have seen the video from the FIA where they did a test, they put someone on fire and he runs around to show that the overall is strong.
I have that image that I have fire following me.
"Then I shake my hands because they are very hot and in pain. I removed my gloves straight away because I have got also that image the skin is doing bubbles, melting and is going to stick to the gloves.
"So straight away I want to remove both of my gloves straight away so my hands...so the skin doesn't go with it.
"Then Ian comes to see me and speak to me, and he says 'Sit down!'. I gave him shit. I said 'Talk to me normally please.' I guess he understood that I was okay at the time, I was normal.
"Then we sit and we are too close to the fire, I hear the extinguishers and the guys from the fire thing: 'The battery is on fire, bring some other extinguisher'.
"Then we go into the medical car, sit down and they put some cold compress on my hands because I told them my hands are burned and my foot is broken.
"And then the pain really starts going very high, especially on the left foot. The hands were okay at the time but the left foot started to be very painful.
"Then Ian explains to me that the ambulance is coming, they are going to come with the bed and you are going to be okay.
"We keep talking at that time. I said 'No, no, no, we are walking to the ambulance'. He said 'No, no, no, the bed is coming'. I said 'No, no, no.'
"I walk out of the car, and I said 'We are walking'. They said 'Okay, we are going to help you'.
"I guess on the medical side it wasn't the perfect decision but they understood that for me, it was key at that point that there was some footage of me walking towards the ambulance and that even though I'd walked out of the fire, I needed to send another strong message that I was okay and I was going to walk towards the ambulance.
"Then every time I met anyone, I said 'Two burned hands, one broken foot'. That is all I could say to everyone I was meeting just because I was scared, obviously, of my conditions and I wanted everyone who was coming and treating me to know what the symptoms were.
"That is the full story of 28 seconds and the rest. You can imagine, it felt longer than 28 seconds with all the thoughts I had.
"It must have been milliseconds but to all the thoughts to me looked like one, two, three seconds, I don't know."
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