Former F1 champion Damon Hill has declared it "an absolute miracle” Romain Grosjean survived the immense g-forces he experienced in his terrifying crash in Bahrain on Sunday.
Hill, who won the Formula 1 world title in 1996, said he was “flabbergasted” by the way Grosjean’s car speared through three layers of metal barrier.
“The speed with which he went into the barrier is terrifying for a start," said Hill on Sky Sports F1. “The shock of the front going in, the back end has come off and it has just ripped it open and the petrol has come out.
“It was an absolute miracle that he could withstand the deceleration and that, in the middle of all of that, he managed to find the seatbelts and climb out. Absolutely unbelievable."
Grosjean’s survival has been put down in part to the success of the halo device that protects the driver’s head, which was introduced under controversial circumstances in 2018.
Many observers had complained at the time that it was unattractive and was not what F1 needed - including Grosjean - but it has now clearly proven its worth.
Hill added: “Many of us old fart drivers perhaps thought the halo was going too far on the safety front. It looked pretty ugly. But I tell you what, it’s a lot prettier seeing a guy get out after an accident like that.
“The fact is he was not knocked unconscious because clearly, he would not have been able to get out the car and then we would have been talking maybe about something different.
“One of the reasons we brought in the halo was because of head protection. There’s no way he could have survived that without the halo.
“It’s like an armour-piercing Formula One car. He’s gone through metal, and it must have opened up the aperture enough for him to go through and pop out the other side, but it would have been a different story without the halo.”
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