Romain Grosjean says he ‘saw death coming’ after horror crash as he leaves hospital

Romain Grosjean says he ‘saw death coming’ after horror crash as he leaves hospital

Formula One driver Romain Grosjean says the thought of his children inspired him to escape his burning car after a horrific crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

The incident occurred on the third corner of the first lap as Grosjean plowed into the barriers following contact with Daniil Kvyat.

The Frenchman said he “saw death coming” after the car split in half and was instantly engulfed in flames.

Dramatic live footage showed the Frenchman jump out of the burning wreckage after what he said was 28 seconds, before being taken to hospital where he was treated for burns on the back of his hands.

Haas F1 has since confirmed he was discharged from the Bahrain Defence Hospital (BDH) on Wednesday and will remain in the country to receive private treatment for his burns.

Speaking to French broadcaster TF1, Grosjean says a lot of things raced through his mind whilst sitting in the wreckage, including Niki Lauda — a former F1 driver who suffered severe burns after a crash during the German Grand Prix in 1976.

“I thought that it wasn’t possible to end up like that, not now. I couldn’t finish my story in Formula One like that,” Grosjean told TF1.

“For my children, I told myself that I had to get out. I put my hands in the fire, so I clearly felt it burning on the chassis.

“I was more afraid for my family and friends, obviously my children who are my greatest source of pride and energy, than for myself in the end.

“I think there’s going to be some psychological work to be done, because I really saw death coming.”

READ: ‘Proud to partner with Bahrainis,’ says F1 boss amid human rights criticism

‘A second birth’

Grosjean has credited the halo safety device for saving his life on Sunday, admitting he wasn’t its biggest fan when it was first introduced in 2018.

The halo is a titanium protection device that is mandatory on all F1 cars. It shields the drivers’ cockpits and can withstand the weight of a double-decker bus, according to F1.

After his miraculous escape, Grosjean says he’s determined to participate in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi on December 13 in what could be his last in an F1 car.

The 34-year-old is without a seat for next year after Haas announced in October that Grosjean and teammate Kevin Magnussen would be leaving at the end of the 2020 F1 season.

“There is the need to get back in the car, if possible in Abu Dhabi, to finish my story with Formula One in a different way,” he added.

“It was almost like a second birth. To come out of the flames that day is something that will mark my life forever.”

READ: Lewis Hamilton addresses F1’s ‘massive problem’ with human rights

Mick Schumacher to Haas

On Wednesday, Haas announced that Mick Schumacher, the son of F1 great Michael, will join the team next year alongside Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.

Schumacher says he “couldn’t be happier” and “always believed this incredible dream would come true.”

Elsewhere, Mercedes confirmed that Britain’s George Russell will stand in for Lewis Hamilton for Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, after being released by Williams.

Hamilton has been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19, meaning the 22-year-old will be only the fifth driver to race for Mercedes since 2010.

This year, Bahrain is hosting grands prix on back-to-back weekends for the first time as part of the rescheduled 2020 season due to the pandemic.