Formula 1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn says the sport will do a serious analysis of Romain Grosjean’s crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix due to a number of worrying failures.
Grosjean crashed on the straight towards Turn 4 after contact with Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap, with his car splitting in two as the survival cell went through an Armco guardrail barrier. Although medical staff were immediately on the scene and he was able to climb out of the burning wreckage in what is testament to many safety protocols, Brawn says the large fire and failed barrier are concerns for the sport to address.
“We have go to do a very deep analysis of all the events that occurred, because there are a number of things that shouldn’t have happened,” Brawn told Sky Sports. “The fire was worrying and the split of the barrier was worrying. I think the positives were the safety of the car, and that is what got us through.
“Barriers splitting was a classic problem many years ago and normally it resulted in a fatality. There’s absolutely no doubt the halo was the factor that saved Romain.
“I think all the team behind it deserve credit for forcing it though. If you recall there was quite a bit of controversy at the time about introducing it, and I don’t think anyone now can doubt the validity of that and the value of it. So hats off to everyone involved, because it was a lifesaver.
“It was quite a high G load and we have to look at how everything failed. Everything’s designed to fail in a progression, but a crash that catastrophic obviously things failed in an unpredicted way. The car came apart and we had a fuel fire, which we have not had for a very long time — the fuel cells are incredibly strong.
“I suspect that came from a ruptured connection … I honestly don’t know. I think we need to look at it. Surprisingly, it looked a big fire, but those cars are carrying 100 kilos (26 gallons) of fuel at that stage, and I think if 100 kilos went up, it would be a massive fire. For me that was a fire of a few kilos of fuel, not 100 kilos.
“It’s a barrier that would be very unusual to hit in the way that Romain hit that barrier. For sure there will be some very careful scrutiny between now and the next race. Any information we can gather between now and the next race we will do so, and I’m sure any action will be taken that needs to be done. But it’s something we have not seen in a long time and I think the safety standards at the circuits are exceptional; but we saw something we didn’t predict.”
However, Brawn says the reaction of the FIA Medical Car team and trackside marshals was something that the sport should be proud of.
“Credit to everyone. Clear thought, clear purpose — they didn’t hesitate. They did exactly what they needed to do and you can’t fault them. We’re proud to have them all and I think it’s very reassuring for the drivers to see that level of professionalism and that response. In that respect it was perfect. Obviously we don’t want to see an accident like that but in terms of a response I can’t really think there could have been anything more effectively done.”