Grosjean escapes massive accident on opening lap in Bahrain

Mark Sutton//Motorsport Images

Grosjean escapes massive accident on opening lap in Bahrain

Formula 1

Grosjean escapes massive accident on opening lap in Bahrain


Haas driver Romain Grosjean escaped serious injury in a massive accident on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, which has forced a red-flag stoppage of the race.

Grosjean’s car clipped the front of Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri as he attempted to avoid slowing cars in front of him. The damaged Haas then shot off into the barriers on the right, and was split in two in the impact, resulting in a huge ball of fire. Grosjean was able to climb out of the car and was assisted by staff from the FIA medical car to climb over the barriers and escape the flames. He was transported directly to the medical center.

“He’s doing OK, he had light burns on his hands and ankles, but he’s conscious,” Haas team director Guenther Steiner told Sky TV.

The team subsequently confirmed that Grojean has been transferred to a nearby hospital with a possible broken rib in addition to his light burns.

No course marshals are believed to have been injured in the incident.

“It was a big surprise for us as well. In 12 years I’ve necer seen that much fire,” admitted FIA Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe. “It was a relief when we got back here and he was OK. It was very impressive. It just goes to show all the systems that we developed, everything worked hand in hand — the halo, the barriers, the seat belts, everyhing worked how it should. Without just one of those things, it could have been a very different outcome.”

The race is expected to be suspended for at least 45 minutes while the damaged barriers are repaired.

The wreckage of Grosjean’s Haas VF-20 after the accident on the opening lap. Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images