Horror crash in Formula 1: “Without Halo he would have been beheaded”: An ugly bow saves Grosjean’s life
Flames shoot out of the destroyed Haas. Suddenly Romain Grosjean jumps from the wreck of his Formula 1 car over the guardrail. A fire accident made the Bahrain Grand Prix almost a minor matter. It is thanks to the technology that the accident turned out lightly for Grosjean.
For the fireworks after the horror crash of Romain Grosjean and the desert chaos of Bahrain, Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton had no eyes. After his eleventh win of the season, the Mercedes driver first thought of the Haas team driver, who, according to initial investigations, survived a violent fire accident largely unscathed.
“That was such a shocking picture, that’s terrible when you see something like that,” said Hamilton, who did not allow himself to be put off track by a more than 80-minute break after the flames drama. “That could have been a lot worse. It reminds us that this is a dangerous sport. “
Seconds like an eternity
The pictures were shocking. After just a few hundred meters, the terrible crash occurred. Grosjean pulled his Haas to the right for reasons that were initially unknown, touched Daniil Kwjat from Alpha Tauri and literally thundered into the guardrail.
Then flames shot out of the wreck. How was Grosjean? Where was he? The Frenchman freed himself from his car, which had been torn in two. A track doctor helped the shocked pilot over the guardrail after a few seconds, which in this unbelievable scenario seemed like an eternity. Shortly afterwards, Grosjean was sitting in the track doctor’s car. He had to be supported when he was escorted to an ambulance.
Hamilton shakes his head
Red flags were waved and the third last race of the season was interrupted after two laps. Then the all-clear from the Haas team. Grosjean only got “a few minor burns on his hands and ankles”. Otherwise he is okay. His condition was stable and he could be flown to the hospital in a helicopter. Grosjean stayed there overnight for observation, as his team announced. Formula 1 announced an in-depth investigation into the accident.
In the garage, Grosjean’s colleagues spontaneously applauded when the doctors treated him without any major harm. Hamilton shook his head in disbelief at the horror accident.
The ugly halo
“All the systems that we have developed – the halo, the barriers, the belts – have worked as they should,” said the driver of the medicine truck, Alan van der Merwe. Above all, the originally highly controversial introduction of the “halo” system (German: halo) has obviously paid off here. The bracket attached to the chassis of the car is intended to protect the driver’s head, but is aesthetically rather unappealing.
In Bahrain, however, the ugly halo probably saved Grosjean’s life. “15 years ago such an accident would have turned out differently,” said ex-driver and TV expert Ralf Schumacher on Sky. “Without Halo the driver would have been beheaded here.”
The head protection was introduced by Grosjean’s colleague Jules Bianchi after the fatal accident. The Frenchman had an accident at the Osaka Grand Prix in October 2014 and died for nine months as a result of the injuries. The French TV commentator Julien Febreau reported on a message that he is said to have received from Bianchi’s mother during the race: “What the death of my son triggered back then saved his friend Romain today.”
27 seconds in the flame of hell
The cockpit cells and the roll bars have also become more and more stable over the years. While Grosjeans car was torn in two, the cockpit cell withstood the horror crash. Grosjean also remained conscious after the impact and was able to get out of the car himself. If a helper had to pull it out, it would have sat in the flames for longer than 27 seconds.
Even so, the Frenchman would not have survived that half-minute in the sea of flames had it not been for his overalls. It was only this season that the safety requirements were increased by an additional fireproof layer. In the end, the 34-year-old can also thank himself. Because one of the racing drivers who is most vehemently committed to safety in the cockpit is: Grosjean himself. The 34-year-old is Vice President of the GPDA drivers’ union.
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flr / with dpa