Star‘s traumatic video of ‘meeting death’
Formula 1 star Romain Grosjean has posted a confronting new video of his miracle escape from a fireball crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Monday morning (AEDT).
Left hospital on Thursday morning, saying he "saw death" following his dramatic escape from his high-speed crash.
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Haas driver Grosjean somehow wrenched himself free from his blazing car with just burns to his hands and a broken left foot after a collision with Daniil Kvyat on the first lap of Sunday's race, and was treated in a military hospital in Bahrain.
Grosjean's car was ripped in two after he went into the railing at around 220km/h with the wreck instantly erupting into an inferno. Grosjean's survival cell was seen wedged into the railing once the fire was put out and the debris that was left from his smoking wreck of a car was cleared. The 34-year-old was stuck in his car for nearly half a minute before getting out alive.
The "halo" safety device - the protective arch that sits above the drivers' cockpit - was the difference between Grosjean living or dying.
The French driver posted a new shocking video of the dramatic moment on Thursday, where he thanked the fire marshals for saving his life.
The heroes have since been identified as Dr Ian Roberts, Corporal Thayer Ali Taher and Sergeant John Matthew
"This video is incredible. Look at the professionalism of the fireman, trying to keep the fire away from me in the car," he wrote on Instagram.
"Look at the action on Ian Roberts and his involvement. I told him he was a hero, he went into the fire as much as he could to save me.
"Finally, this is also the moment I realised I was going to live. Extracting my body from the chassis. Yes it burned myself and yes it was painful but that's nothing compare to the relief I felt as soon as I could get up.
"I felt Ian's hands pulling me over the barrier and knew I was safe. I remember every second of it and life will never be the same again, but I'm sure for the best.
"I met with death and that is the worst feeling I ever had. But I'm alive and will enjoy every second of life and every small win in a much better way from now on. Thank you."
Grosjean had plenty of reasons to be happy on Thursday following his release from hospital and regaining the use of his fingers.
However, he will continue to receive treatment on the burns and will have ongoing rehabilitation from his injuries. He will also receive counselling to deal with the trauma.
After being taken to a medical centre he began to shake with shock and pain, but he was able to "see familiar faces" and talk with wife, French TV presenter Marion Jolles Grosjean.
Grosjean said he is speaking to his regular sports psychologist to help with any mental problems that could arise from such a close brush with death.
My right hand this morning. The happiness I had when I was told that I didn't need the full dressing anymore and could use my finger was huge. Almost cried. A victory on my way to recovery pic.twitter.com/QuZojM1mZe— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) December 2, 2020
"I saw death too closely. You can't live that and be the same man," Grosjean told AFP.
"I undid my seat belt right away and I tried to get out of the car, but I realised my helmet was hitting something.
"I sat back down, told myself that I was stuck and that I'll wait.
"But on my left, it was all orange and I realised that it was burning. I told myself, 'No time to wait, I'm going to try to get out on the right', but I couldn't. I couldn't get out on the left either.
"I thought: 'It can't end like this, not now'. I tried to get out again, but I couldn't, so I sat down and I saw death, not close up, but from too close ... It's a feeling that I wish on no-one."
Grosjean said it was by thinking of his three children while flames enveloped his vehicle that he found a way to extract himself.
"That's where I found the resources to pull out my blocked foot, to turn my head ... to put my hands up to hoist myself out knowing that they were going to burn, but that was okay," he said.
"For now, I'm not having nightmares, bad thoughts, flashbacks or moments of fear, but that doesn't mean they're not going to come and that's why we're going to keep discussing it," he said.
Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi - grandson of two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi - will make his F1 debut in place of Grosjean in this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, also in Bahrain.
Grosjean said he hopes to return for the last GP of the 2020 season in Abu Dhabi next month, which could also be his last F1 race as Haas announced on Wednesday Michael Schumacher's son Mick will join Russian rookie Nikita Mazepin in a new line-up next year.
- with AFP
Originally published as Star's traumatic video of 'meeting death'