Grosjean escape a 'miracle' as FIA medical team recall 'very odd scene'

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The FIA medical team who responded to Romain Grosjean's crash have described the "very odd scene" upon arrival and the process of recovering him.

The Haas driver smashed into the barrier at high-speed on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, with the car bursting into flames upon impact and the survival cell, where he was sat, wedged in the Armco.

Thankfully, the Halo was able to protect Grosjean, who was able to escape with just minor burns on his hands, and the response of the medical team and marshals was highly praised.

"First lap, as normal we were following [the cars] around and then there was just a massive flame and as we arrived, it was a very odd scene," Dr Ian Roberts explained via SKy Sportk.

"We'd got half the car pointing in the wrong direction and then just across the barrier, a mass of heat.

"Just to stop and then looking to the right, at that point I could see Romain trying to get up. We needed some way of getting to him, and we had the marshal there with an extinguisher.

"The extinguisher was just enough to get the flame away and Romain then got high enough for me to reach over and pull him over the barrier."

With the initial recovery from the wreckage done, the FIA doctor then explained the process of establishing any injuries Grosjean had.

"I told him to sit down, obviously he was very shaky." he said.

"His visor was completely opaque and in fact, melted. I had to get his helmet off just to check that everything else was OK. He'd got some pain in his foot and his hands.

"From that point, we knew it was safe enough to move him around into the car just to give him a bit more protection, get some gel onto his burns and then get him into the ambulance off to the medical centre."

Asked what his main fears were upon arrival, with Grosjean stuck in the fire for almost half a minute according to some stopwatches, Roberts added...

"Our first thought was flames, smoke inhalation, airway issues," he explained. "But in fact, nothing went up into his helmet - we've had a look at that as well.

"But that certainly looking at him clinically, we were quite happy with him from a life-threatening injury point of view. Then it was just trying to make him comfortable from the injuries that we could actually see."

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Alongside Dr Roberts was driver Alan van der Merwe, who admitted that, despite all their best training and preparation, little could have prepared them for what they saw.

"I've not seen a fire like this in my stint as the Medical Car driver," he said. "A lot of it is new and unknown territory, so we can only be prepared as our own ideas.

"We do a lot of checklist and scene prep, talking about scenarios, but this was crazy - to get there and see one half of the car, with the other nowhere to be seen, and a huge ball of flames.

"So you're thinking on your feet. Preparation only gets you so far and after that, there's instinctive and quick thinking.

"Ultimately Ian has to rely on me, and vice versa," he added. "Today, everybody did their bit.

"Even Romain, Romain did a huge amount. The fact he was able to get out of that himself, the fact that his shoe came off, these small things... one of things changed and it could have been a very different outcome.

"Today, all the teamwork, all the prep, it feels worthwhile."

For everyone in F1, Grosjean's health was the most important priority on Sunday, with his Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen using the word of the day.

“Firstly, I’m just very, very happy to see Romain walk away from that crash – it was unbelievable, the crash he had there,” said the Dane.

“To see him survive that is frankly a miracle. I’m so happy that the Halo was introduced, and that we have this thing on the car. Without it, I’m sure it would have been very different.

“That’s really all from me today. I’m just happy that we’ve still got Romain.”