Romain Grosjean has revealed he will be “marked for life” psychologically after his death-defying crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman has given his first interview, with journalist Allan Delamotte, from the hospital where he is recovering with burned and bandaged hands having crashed through a barrier at 137mph, his Haas car splitting in two and bursting into flames.
Miraculously, the 34-year-old escaped from the fiery wreckage within 20 seconds as F1 chief medical officer Dr Ian Roberts and medical car driver Alan van der Merwe arrived at the scene to assist.
Despite saying he has “Micky [Mouse]’s hands”, Grosjean insisted his injuries are not severe, especially considering he feared sustaining the same kind of burns as Niki Lauda when the late World Champion crashed at the Nurburgring in 1976.
Thank you so much for all your messages
Loving life pic.twitter.com/uTyfhTYTxP
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) November 30, 2020
“It’s superficial, I have mobility in all of my fingers,” said Grosjean in an exclusive interview with TF1 and LCI.
“I didn’t lose consciousness. To get out of the seat, I was able to remove my seatbelt. The steering wheel was no longer there, it probably flew off during the impact.
“I saw my visor all orange, the flames around me, and the accident of Niki Lauda came to mind. I didn’t want to end up like that. I had to get out for my children.
“In the end, my hands were burned and I have a big sprain – I thought I had broken my foot.
“I was more afraid for my relatives, my children in the first place, but also my father and mother. I was not really afraid for myself.
“I saw death coming and had no other option but to get out of there. I’m happy to be alive.”
Grosjean also, as he had in his initial video message on the evening of the crash, paid tribute to the Halo system that had saved him – albeit he said his young son had a different theory.
“My little Simon, who is five years old, told me I had a magic power, a magic shield of love that protected me,” said Grosjean, who also referred to Jules Bianchi, his compatriot and the last F1 driver to die as a result of injuries sustained during a race.
“Without the Halo, I would no longer be here. I think Jules didn’t want me up there.
“It’s like a rebirth for me. I will be marked for life by this accident.”