Roberts: Not heroic, did what was necessary

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean Bahrain crash

Stepping into the flames to help Romain Grosjean, F1 doctor Ian Roberts says he’s not a hero, he did “what was necessary”.

Grosjean crashed on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, his Haas piercing the guardrail and splitting in half before bursting into flames.

As the Frenchman climbed out of what was left of his car, Roberts was immediately on hand, reaching out to assisting him.

The Formula 1 doctor, along with medical car driver Alan van der Merwe, has been praised around the world for his swift actions.

“I’m no hero,” he told Reuters. “Lots of people do seriously and proper heroic things. I did what was necessary, so no I don’t consider myself a hero.

“But I’m very pleased for people’s kind words.”

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The accident thankfully had a fairy tale ending with Grosjean, despite the severity of the crash, suffering nothing worse that burns to his hands and ankles.

But instead of patting themselves on the back, Roberts says he and Van der Merwe have already spoken about what they do better should something similar happen in the future.

“Ian and I will do very small things which we think would have bought us some more time or some more margin,” he revealed. “We’ve discussed that over breakfast this morning.

“We’ve got some more experience now to go off of.

“This used to be a scenario that we dreamt up, now we’ve been there. Now we know what we need to do and what we need to improve on.”

Van der Merwe agreed with Roberts.

“I did my bit,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it heroic.

“I think we performed well. I think we can perform better next time.

“It’s a really positive story, it’s really good for Formula One. It validates that we’re doing the right thing and that I think we should keep doing what we’re doing, which is to try and improve things.”

Grosjean will sit out this weekend’s Sakhir race as a result of his injuries, Pietro Fittipaldi already confirmed as his Haas replacement.

It is not yet known whether the 34-year-old will be fit to race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, which will be his final race as a Formula 1 driver.

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