Romain Grosjean’s Haas that split in two and caught fire during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix is to go on display as part of the F1 Exhibition in Europe next month.
The Frenchman was caught in contact on the opening lap of the race at the Bahrain International Circuit and veered across the track to hit the guardrail at high speed. With the horizontal aspects of the barrier being forced apart by the car, it was then stopped by an upright at such force that it ripped the rear end off, detaching the power unit and gearbox from the safety cell.
That led to fuel igniting in a large fireball, with Grosjean trapped in the car for 28 seconds as it became wedged in the barrier. While the Halo protected him from an impact to his head, Grosjean then had to climb out a small gap in the side of the cockpit protection device in order to jump clear of the burning wreckage, suffering burns to his hands.
Now, the chassis and survival cell will be put on display to show the safety systems that remain in tact and how they helped save Grosjean’s life, alongside previously unseen footage of the crash in s specially-titled room called “Survival.”
“From my point of view, it was a big accident but I didn’t realize the impact or how violent it was from the outside,” Grosjean said in an interview released by the F1 Exhibition. “It was only the next day when I asked someone to show me what it looked like that I realised.
“My wife was actually watching that race with my dad and my kids. They will remember that moment their entire life. They were just spectators waiting to hear something… waiting to see something from Bahrain.
“I had to break the headrest, punching it with my helmet and then I eventually managed to get my helmet through and stand up in the seat. I realised my left foot was stuck into the chassis and I pulled as hard as I could on my left leg. My shoe stayed in the chassis but my foot came loose so I was free to exit the car.
“It was 120 kilos of fuel plus the battery – both were on fire. Dr Ian Roberts, Alan (van der Merwe) from the medical car and one fireman were trying to open a gap in the fire to help me get out. I believe that helped me at least to get a vision of where I had to go and where the exit was.
“The survival cell is there for you in case of a huge impact. I was intact inside the shell. The chassis is still in one piece, the halo is there and apart from the damage and burn it is still as it should be. I guess that saved my life.”
The F1 Exhibition is opening in Madrid in late March and will be a global offering that is to move cities. It features a number of unique experiences to take fans thought the world of F1, from its history to the people who help run the sport and visions of its future.