Sport Motorsport Grosjean ready to return to F1 after ‘miracle’ escape from crash

Grosjean ready to return to F1 after ‘miracle’ escape from crash

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Romain Grosjean wants to compete in Formula One’s final race of the season in Abu Dhabi following his miraculous escape at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Grosjean has spent a third night at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital with the burn injuries he sustained escaping the fiery crash on Sunday.

The French driver, who has already been ruled out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, provided an update on his condition, posting a photo to Instagram performing squats with his hands still heavily bandaged.

“Never thought that a few body weight squats would make me happy. Body recovering well from the impact. Hopefully same about the burns on my hands,” he wrote.

Grosjean’s car split in two and burst into flames after he pierced through a steel barrier at 220km/h following a collision with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap.

The 34-year-old scrambled to get out of his burning wreckage for almost half a minute before leaping to safety. The force of the crash registered at 53G.

Miraculously, he escaped with only minor burns to his hands.

Earlier, Grosjean told French broadcaster TF1 that he would need psychological help to get over the mental impact of the fiery crash.

“There’s going to be some psychological work to be done, because I really saw death coming. When you see images, not even Hollywood is capable of doing that,” he said.

“To come out of the flames that day is something that will mark my life forever.”

Grosjean was thought to have been in the flames for nearly 30 seconds but was lucid enough to figure a way out of the near-death situation.

“I don’t know if the word miracle exists or it can be used, but it wasn’t my time. It did seem much longer than 28 seconds. I saw my visor turning all orange, the flames on the left side of the car,” he said.

Grosjean was stuck in the flames for nearly 30 seconds.

On Tuesday, Grosjean’s team boss at Haas, Gunther Steiner, said: “The aim is Romain really would like to do the race in Abu Dhabi (on December 13).

“I told him try to get better and we will speak on Sunday or Monday and see how he feels and if it is doable.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m not in a hurry to decide what to do, or what is needed because it depends on his health.

“He is just trying to get better to be in the car in Abu Dhabi. That is his aim and that shows that he wants to keep on doing it.”

It had been anticipated that Grosjean would be discharged on Tuesday.

But Steiner said he would stay in hospital for another night, although “there’s nothing to be preoccupied with”.

“The doctors just said it’s a safer environment, mostly because of his burns. But everything is going well and he is in good spirits,” he said.

“They are very happy, and it is going just as they expected, so there’s no setback. It is maybe just better for him to stay a night longer to make the healing quicker.”

Grosjean has three children – the oldest of whom is just seven. He said the fear of them losing their father drove him through the flames.

“For the sake of my children, I told myself I had to get out. I put my hands in the fire and I could clearly feel my hands burning on the chassis,” he said.

“My five-year-old son, Simon, is sure I have magical powers and that I have a shield of magic love. He said that’s what protected me, that I managed to fly out of the car. Those are very strong words.”

Grosjean’s F1 contract expires at the end of this season, and it remains uncertain if he will drive on in 2021.

Stepping into his shoes this weekend is Haas’ Brazilian reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi for his F1 debut.

-with AAP