Lewis Hamilton praised Formula One and motor racing’s governing body for its constant push for greater safety after Romain Grosjean limped away from a fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Grosjean had a head-on impact with a crash barrier on the opening lap of the race, tearing his car in two and engulfing it in flames. The Frenchman spent almost 15 seconds inside the flames before climbing free and being hauled to safety by the FIA medical team, which arrived almost immediately on the scene.
The Frenchman was helped into the medical car and taken to the circuit medical facility.
In the long delay that followed as Grosjean’s car was carried away and the safety barrier was repaired, Hamilton posted to Instagram his relief to see the Haas driver escape without major injury.
Hamilton, who has already clinched his seventh world championship, spoke again several hours later on how the crash is a reminder at the dangers of the sport and how far the safety standards have come.
“It was such a shocking image to see,” Hamilton said after winning the race. “The thing is, when we arrive, when I get in the car, I know I’m taking risk and I respect the dangers that are in this sport.
“I posted about it while we were in that break, because it’s horrifying. The cockpit … I don’t know what G’s he pulled, but I’m just so grateful the Halo worked, grateful the barrier didn’t slice his head open or something like that, you know? It could have been so much worse.
“It’s a reminder to us and hopefully to the people that are watching that this is a dangerous sport and that it why we’re out there pushing to the limit and playing with that limit, but you also have to respect it. But it shows an amazing job Formula One has done, the FIA has done, over time to be able to walk away from something like that. It will be investigated and they will do a lot of work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”