Grosjean keen to return for Abu Dhabi swansong

Date published: December 1 2020 - Jon Wilde

Romain Grosjean Bahrain crash

Guenther Steiner has revealed Romain Grosjean is eager to return from his horrific Bahrain Grand Prix crash to end his career with the Haas team in Abu Dhabi.

Grosjean is recovering in hospital with burns to his hands after miraculously escaping from a fireball when his car speared through a barrier at 137mph, split in two and the front section, which he was in, burst into flames.

His team have already announced that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace the Frenchman for this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix at the same Bahrain International Circuit, albeit on a shorter configuration of the track.

But according to team principal Steiner, Grosjean, who was told in October that his five-year spell with Haas would end at the conclusion of this season, wants to round off his tenure by competing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – a race that could be his last ever in Formula 1.

“The aim is really Romain would like to do it,” said Steiner, quoted by Autosport.

“I spoke to him yesterday about it. He really wants to be in Abi Dhabi. But I said ‘try to get better, we speak on Sunday or Monday, let’s see how you feel, if it is doable’.

“Pietro is here, Romain is here. We just have to see how he feels, so I’m not in a hurry to decide what to do or what is needed. It depends on his health.

“I just spoke with one of his guys because he was with the doctor before. They did something on the burns, I don’t know exactly what.”

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Although Grosjean had originally been intended to leave hospital on Tuesday, it will now be Wednesday – but Steiner insisted spending an extra night before being discharged did not indicate an unforeseen problem.

“He’s staying another night in the hospital but there’s nothing to be pre-occupied with,” he explained.

“They just said it’s a safer environment, mostly because of the burns. They just said we keep you here another night. But everything is going good.

“The guy he’s got with him told me the doctors are very happy and it’s going just as they would have seen it coming, so there’s no setback or anything.”

Steiner also gave an insight into what Grosjean recalls of his experience, noting the Frenchman did not realise he had made contact with Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri.

“He remembers how he wanted to get out, or how he got out, he explained that very well to me,” said Steiner.

“What he asked me was ‘how did I end up there?’ I said ‘you ran over Kvyat’s car, basically, you turned right and ran over his front wheel, and that turned you around and put you in the wall’.

“He said ‘I didn’t see the car’. I don’t want to put words in his mouth and say he doesn’t remember it. I think he didn’t realise what he did.

“I wouldn’t say he lost any memory of it. I think it went so quick that he cannot remember it.”

Asked if Grosjean had watched TV replays, Steiner said: “I don’t think he looked a lot at it. Again, I didn’t want to go there and specifically ask him. I didn’t want to put him in that awkward position to say yes or no.”

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