On that August 1, 1976 at the Nürburgring, Niki Lauda spent 50 seconds in his burning wreck before he could be rescued at the last minute. Romain Grosjean (Fra) can now understand quite well how that must have felt for him. Although the Haas driver was ‘only’ in the flames of his car for 26 seconds after his spectacular crash in Bahrain on Sunday, the images of him jumping through a wall of fire in the open are literally burned into the memories of driver colleagues. racing teams and fans.
Grosjean himself got away lightly – with burns on both backs of his hands – and has to leave the hospital on Tuesday. But the relief is not only great for him, Formula 1 can also breathe a sigh of relief because the safety mechanisms worked so quickly. That is the lesson from the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the cause of the accident shortly after the start has not yet been clarified. World Automobile Federation (FIA) medical rescue coordinator Ian Roberts and rescue driver Alan van der Merwe were the first rescue workers at the scene of the accident. “You could tell he was very shaky,” said Roberts after Grosjean climbed alone from the burning wreckage. As if by a miracle, the 34-year-old, who had crashed into the border at 220 kilometers per hour, broke no bones. The monocoque drilled into the guardrail and the 34-year-old’s helmet visor was in danger of melting. The fact that there was no disaster at the Nürburgring was not only due to the rapid intervention of the rescue workers and the fire-resistant racing overalls from Grosjeans, but above all to the new “Halo” cockpit protection system introduced in 2018.
Grosjeans colleagues were relieved, especially former world champion Sebastian Vettel and Bahrain winner Lewis Hamilton. “The most important thing is that he got out of the car,” stressed German Ferrari driver Vettel. It borders on a miracle. ‘It is good that the cars are safer than before. The guardrail must not give way and the car must not catch fire in that way. ‘ After his eleventh win of the season, Hamilton said the accident was a “powerful reminder” of how dangerous Formula 1 could be.
Ricciardo is raging
On the other hand, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who on Sunday showed his “disgust and disappointment” at the alleged “constant repetitions” of the fire accident, found critical words. Formula 1 rejected the allegation and made it clear that the photos were only shown after the FIA gave its approval. Grosjean himself did not comment. He will not participate in the upcoming race in Sakhir on Sunday. In any case, his comeback will likely make headlines afterward. It was no different with Lauda.(riot)