‘I am at peace with myself and I am going to die’: Romain Grosjean on horror Grand Prix crash in Bahrain
Romain Grosjean admitted there was a moment when he accepted that he would die in his horrific Grand Prix crash in Bahrain last Sunday.
In a shocking turn last weekend, the Frenchman’s car hit a guardrail and burst into flames, leaving Grosjean trapped in the burning car for several seconds.
The 34-year-old admitted there was a moment when he was resigned to death, but the thought that his children would lose their father was an important moment in his escape from the car and to safety.
Romain Grosjean admits he accepted dying in gruesome Bahrain GP crash
Grosjean’s car hit and pierced a guardrail before going up in flames last weekend
Grosjean told Sky Sports F1: ‘I look to the right and to the left, and looking to the left I see fire. So I say “OK, well I don’t really have time to wait here”.
So the next thing is that I tried to go a little more to the right, it doesn’t work. I go left again, it doesn’t work.
“I sat down again and then thought about Niki Lauda, his accident (at the Nuburgring in 1976), and thought, ‘It can’t end like this, it can’t be my last race, it can’t end like this. “
So I try again and I’m stuck. So I go back and then there is the less pleasant moment when my body started to relax. I am at peace with myself and I am dying.
I asked my question, “Will it burn my shoe, my foot, or my hand? Will it be painful? Where will it start?”
The Frenchman miraculously escaped after being trapped in his car for several seconds
‘To me that seems like two, three, four seconds. I think it was milliseconds at the time. And then I think about my kids and I said “no, they can’t lose their dad today.” ‘
The 34-year-old has three children with his wife Marion: seven-year-old Sacha, five-year-old Simon and two-year-old Camille.
Grosjean also described the moment when he managed to pull himself out of the car using his shoulders – watching his gloves melt on his hands at the same time.
The F1 driver suffered burns to his hands and ankles, a broken rib and a broken foot.
The 34-year-old added: ‘I don’t know why, but I decided to turn my helmet on the left and go up like this and then try to turn my shoulder. That kind of works, but then I realize my foot is stuck in the car.
Grosjean sustained burns to his hands after putting his hands on the car that was on fire
‘So I sit down again, pulling my left leg as hard as I can and my foot comes out of the shoe. Then I do it again and then the shoulders go through, and the moment the shoulders are through I know I’m going to jump out.
‘At that moment I have both hands on the fire. My gloves are normally red so I see the left one in particular changing color and starting to melt and turn completely black, and I feel the pain. But I also feel the relief of getting out of the car.
And then I jump out. I go on the barrier and then I feel Ian (Roberts) putting on my overalls, so I know that I am no longer alone and that someone is with me.
‘Then I land and then they touch my back, so I’m like,’ Oh s ***, I’m like a walking fireball. ‘ ‘
Shocking images show the moment when Grosjean managed to pull himself out of the flames
News of Grosjean’s condition after the incident was softened by footage of the Frenchman walking towards the ambulance.
The F1 driver admitted his idea was to walk rather than travel through a hospital bed to reassure fans, spectators and onlookers that he was safe.
Grosjean added: ‘They put some cold compress on my hands because I said my hands are burning, my foot is broken. And then the pain starts to get really high, especially on the left foot. The hands were fine at the time, but the left foot is starting to get very painful.
Grosjean revealed it was his decision to walk to the ambulance to show onlookers he was safe
Ian then explains to me that the ambulance is coming and that ‘they are with the [medical] bed and it will be fine ‘.
‘And I say’ no, no, no, let’s walk into the ambulance ‘. “No, no, no, no, the bed is coming” And I said “no, no, no” And I walk out of the car and I say “we walk”, and he says “OK, we’re gonna you help out. ”
“I don’t think it was the perfect decision on the medical side, but they understood that it was crucial for me when there were images of me walking to the ambulance.
“Even though I had walked out of the fire, I still had to send a strong message that I was okay and that I would walk to the ambulance.”
Grosjean was released from hospital on Wednesday and returned to the site of the crash on Thursday – just four days after he was towed from the burning car.