MANAMA: Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash came as a wake-up call that drove home the reality of Formula One’s dangers, his Haas team mate Kevin Magnussen said on Thursday (Dec 3) .
Grosjean careered off the track at high speed on the opening lap of last Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman's car speared into the barriers in a 53G impact, that split it in half, and burst into flames bringing the race to a temporary halt.
“It didn’t quite feel right to go back and race after that,” Magnussen told reporters via video conference at the same Sakhir desert track which will host a second race around its shorter outer circuit this weekend.
“Suddenly you wake up from this dream world where you walk around thinking that nothing’s going to happen and you see a crash like that and it just suddenly becomes real.”
Magnussen, 28, is one of the sport’s hardest racers and has made no secret of his admiration for those who drove in a more dangerous era of Formula One when the risk of death was far greater than it is today.
The Dane said he had been worried about Grosjean despite seeing him walk away, in replays played repeatedly during the stoppage, because of the risk of complications from any potential internal injuries.
The 34-year-old Grosjean, who miraculously escaped with little more than burns on the back of his hands and no broken bones, returned to the scene of the accident on Thursday.
He thanked the FIA’s medical delegates and marshals, including one who ran across the track with a fire extinguisher that bought Grosjean time to get out of his car and allowed the Formula One doctor Ian Roberts to help him to safety.
“You were the man that crossed the road?” he asked the marshal. “Your reaction, your attitude, I saw the video, your awareness of where I was in the car.
"Thank you for saving my life.”