Crash survivor Romain Grosjean withdraws from Abu Dhabi race and Haas farewell
Romain Grosjean has accepted the advice of doctors and confirmed he will not take the risk of racing one last time for Haas in Abu Dhabi next Sunday.
A week ago the French driver battled to escape the Formula One fireball inferno which stunned the world at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 34-year-old suffered only minor burns to his hands and was released from the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital on Wednesday after his car penetrated a steel barrier at 137mph, split in two, and burst into flames during the most dramatic accident of recent F1 memory.
Grosjean, who was already due to retire from the sport at the end of the season after being dropped by Haas, was hopeful he would bow out with one final appearance at the season-concluding round at Yas Marina Circuit.
But in a video on Twitter, he said: “I have left a lot of time for the doctor to discuss, but for my health and safety it is better I don’t take the risk to race in Abu Dhabi.
“It is a very difficult decision but it is the best one for my future.
“Hopefully I will now work on what is coming next, where am I going to go racing, where am I going to go winning races!
“I would like to thank everyone for the messages, the support and the love. It has been incredible to see in such a difficult time.”
A crash investigation has been launched by the FIA, with the governing body confirming earlier this week that it will take as long as two months before the findings are made public.
The sport is back in Bahrain for the penultimate round of the campaign. A different configuration, already scheduled before Grosjean’s accident, is being used with a number of safety changes made to the circuit.
Two rows of tyres have been put in place at Turn 3, the scene of Grosjean’s crash, while the damaged barrier has also been fully replaced. The tyre barrier at Turn 9 has increased in depth to four rows.
The kerb between Turns 8 and 9 has also been removed after Lance Stroll was launched airborne by Daniil Kvyat in last Sunday’s dramatic race.
Haas confirmed back in October Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen would leave at the end of the season.
The former Lotus driver has been with the American team since they entered Formula One in 2016 and stated in a Facebook post after the announcement he was to bow out of the sport.
“The last chapter is closed and the book is finished,” Grosjean said on October 22.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Geneva-born Frenchman, whose seat for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will again be taken by Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi.