The Formula 1 paddock has been praising the safety advances made by Formula 1 after Romain Grosjean was able to climb out of an horrific accident in the Bahrain Grand Prix with relatively minor injuries.
On the opening lap, Grosjean moved across on Daniil Kvyat as he looked for space on the inside of the track out of Turn 3, with contact then pitching him into the barrier head-on. The Haas split the barrier in two, with the car also disintegrating and just the survival cell wedging in the barrier as a huge explosion and fire engulfed the scene. Grosjean was able to extract himself and jump clear with minor burns on his hands and feet, while he was airlifted to hospital in a stable condition with suspected broken ribs, later to be cleared of any broken bones.
Immediately after the race finished, multiple drivers praised the safety of the cars, but Kevin Magnussen says he couldn’t believe what he had seen his teammate go through.
“It was just shocking, really,” Magnussen said. “An unbelievable crash. Not what you want to see. It made me very nervous and made getting back in the car slightly strange because you just want to know that Romain is all good. But to see him walk away from that crash is frankly unbelievable. I think that’s the worst crash I’ve ever seen and for him to be alive is truly a miracle.”
George Russell was behind the incident and says the fact that the halo protected Grosjean also needs to be praised.
“Unbelievable, had the halo not been there I am sure it would’ve been an incredibly different outcome,” Russell said. “The way he walked away anyway was incredible. I have not had an update but I think he is fine from what I understand. Incredible and the safety has moved along so much in recent years so we can only be grateful.”
While Lewis Hamilton won the race, it will not be the enduring image of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, and the seven-time world champion says it’s a reminder of both the dangers involved in F1 but also the improvements made.
“It was such a shocking image to see,” Hamilton said. “The thing is, when we arrive, when I get in the car, I know I’m taking risk and I respect the dangers that are in this sport. I posted about it while we were in that break, because it’s horrifying. The cockpit… I don’t know what G’s he pulled, but I’m just so grateful the halo worked, grateful the barrier didn’t slice his head open or something like that, you know? It could have been so much worse.
“It’s a reminder to us and hopefully to the people that are watching that this is a dangerous sport and that it why we’re out there pushing to the limit and playing with that limit, but you also have to respect it.
“But it shows an amazing job Formula 1 has done, the FIA has done, over time to be able to walk away from something like that. It will be investigated and they will do a lot of work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”