Horrific F1 crash sees driver emerge unscathed with vehicle engulfed in flames


Grosjean's Haas auto was ripped in half and engulfed in flames after striking the barriers at high speed on the opening lap of Sunday's race, which was immediately suspended.

The 34-year-old Frenchman, who was able to free himself from the wreckage and jump clear of the fire after the vehicle penetrated the barriers, was taken to a nearby military hospital for checks.

"Romain is doing okay, I don't want to make a medical comment but he had light burns on his hands and ankles", Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said. X-rays had shown no fractures, they added.

"It was such a shocking image to see", Hamilton said after winning the race.

Formula One's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, said Grosjean was immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews and remained conscious at all times. "His Haas auto was cut in two".

The fact that Grosjean managed to free himself from the wreckage was miraculous in itself, with a general feeling among the paddock that the Halo device that protects a driver's head had helped to save his life.

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The race stopped down for 45 minutes so the staff could clear the track of debris. Lewis Hamilton was seen shaking his head upon watching a replay of the remarkable incident. "Then Romain just started to get out of the auto himself, which is pretty unbelievable after an incident like that".

A F1 Twitter statement on Friday afternoon read: 'We are so thankful that Romain Grosjean was able to walk away from this.

Formula 2 racer Jack Aitken, who competed in the race in which Anthoine Hubert lost his life at Spa-Francorchamps a year ago, disagreed with Verstappen's comments.

Haas said the Frenchman has at least one suspected broken rib. Pleased to see you're in good spirits!

"I think we were lucky by being unlucky... we got away with it, I think".

F1 medical driver Alan van der Merwe, one of the first on the scene, said it was wonderful to see Grosjean trying to get out after an accident of that magnitude. "There's a lot that goes into that, from making sure the cars are mechanically right, to how we drive on the circuit to ensuring there is sufficient margin for error". "And then Romain just actually started to get out of the vehicle himself which is pretty incredible after an accident like that", said the South African.