Romain Grosjean admits he is rethinking his future hopes of racing in IndyCar after the enormous crash he suffered at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman suffered burns to the backs of his hands and an injured foot when his Haas went through an Armco barrier, splitting in two and erupting in flames. Although he managed to get out with relatively minor injuries, Grosjean says what he put his family and friends through makes him question whether he wants to continue racing far away from them in future, as he thinks through his options.
“What is the hardest? For me it’s not what I went through — this is my life, my job and the risk we take,” Grosjean said. “But it’s what I put people through — my family, my parents, my kids, my wife, my friends. For two minutes and 43 seconds they thought their friend, their father, their husband, was dead. That is what I’m working on, because that made me cry. That I made people suffer to that extent.
“The first and only target at the minute is to try to get back to Abu Dhabi, see how it works for me. After that, obviously we were talking about IndyCar at one point; the thought now to have the risks of ovals and having a big shunt, my family far away and seeing it on TV, it’s hard and I don’t know if I could make it.
“But it’s all going to be worked out. I have decided not to take any decision for now until I get to Abu Dhabi, get some more time.
“Last week the priority was to sign a contract and find a way to go racing in 2021. Priorities are a bit different — if I don’t race in 2021 I’ll be cycling, kite surfing, spending time with my kids, enjoying life and having time off, which I didn’t have since I am 17, probably.”
Admitting his family was not happy with his initial reaction on Sunday night that he wanted to race in Abu Dhabi, Grosjean says he is driven by the need to finish his Formula 1 career in a different way after fearing he was going to die in the crash.
“Jumping back in the car (is important) because it has been my life and I would like to cross the finish line properly when I finish my career in Formula 1. I don’t want it to be over on a bad day, even though the footage of the Haas crossing the line at the back of the field will be less dramatic and less broadcasted around the world, I would like it.
“If it doesn’t happen, it’s OK. I will have an opportunity to cross other finish lines in the future. The doctors say it’s difficult to know yet. The right hand, 100 percent will be ready. The strength in the left hand gets better and better every day. The strength is there and the mobility… there is still a lot of swelling from the inflammation, so it needs to start reducing, but the graft hasn’t been ruled out yet.
“I’m joking, I’m happy, but the pain the last two days has been high. I’m quite strong with pain — I broke my hand earlier this year falling down in the kitchen and I haven’t told anyone. It was an open break, two bones, and I went to the hospital and the pain was OK, so I am very strong with some pain.
“We will see — I won’t take the risk to lose mobility of my left index finger and thumb just to go to Abu Dhabi. The story would be beautiful to go to Abu Dhabi, but if I don’t I will call every single Formula 1 team and see if anyone would offer me a private test in January or so, to jump back in the car and have 10 or 15 laps for myself.”