The FIA has launched a detailed analysis into the terrifying crash suffered by Romain Grosjean at the Bahrain Grand Prix, an investigation that is expected to take up to eight weeks to complete.
Grosjean went off at high speed on Lap 1 of Sunday’s race after turning across the front of Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri, pitching him into the Armco barrier at around 137mph. The Haas pierced the barrier and split in two, with the survival cell wedged in the guardrail and the rear of the car breaking onto the track, igniting a large fire. Grosjean took over 20 seconds to get out of the car but was able to pull himself free, suffering only burns on the back of his hands that saw him treated in hospital for three days until he was discharged on Wednesday.
Now the FIA will look into all aspects of the crash and whether specific safety items worked or not, as well as the emergency response to the collision, before publishing its findings.
“The investigation into the Grosjean incident will look at all areas including competitor safety devices such as the helmet, HANS, safety harness, protective clothing, survival cell, headrest, in-car extinguisher system and the Halo frontal cockpit protection,” the FIA announcement read.
“Analysis will also include chassis integrity and the safety barrier performance for an impact of that energy and trajectory. It will also assess the role of the track marshals and medical intervention team.
“The FIA will work with all parties involved, including the Formula 1 promoter, the Haas F1 team and the Grand Prix Drivers Association, which has already been contacted for input.
“Data collection will be at the heart of this investigation and in Formula 1 there is more data instrumentation than in any other championship. FIA researchers will be able to gather data from the various video streams, including a high speed camera which faces the driver and films at 400 frames per-second to reveal in slow motion what happens to him during the accident.
“Data will also be gathered from the in-car Accident Data Recorder, which will reveal the speed and forces on the car, and the in-ear accelerometers that are molded to fit inside a driver’s ear canal to measure the movement of his head in a crash.
“The investigation is expected to take around 6-8 weeks to complete before findings are made public.”
The findings are then entered into the FIA World Accident Database (WADB), where it is collated alongside similar investigations across all motorsport categories in order to try and identify any recurring factors that require specific research.
“As with all serious accidents, we will analyze every aspect of this crash and collaborate with all parties involved,” FIA Safety Director Adam Baker said. “With so much data available in Formula 1, it allows us to accurately determine every element of what occurred and this work has already begun. We take this research very seriously and will follow a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened before proposing potential improvements.”