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Haas driver Romain Grosjean survived a fiery crash that shook the F1 world on Sunday

By Jason Duaine Hahn
December 01, 2020 02:05 PM
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Marion Smith, Romain Grosjean
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty
| Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty

The wife of a Formula 1 driver is expressing her gratitude for the "several" miracles that lead to her husband surviving one of the most horrific crashes the sport has seen in decades.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday when he veered off the track going 137 mph and slammed into a guardrail. While crashes are not uncommon in F1, Romain's car split in half and exploded into flames while he was still inside the vehicle.

Track officials quickly worked to extinguish the rising flames, and Romain — a father of three — pulled himself from the wreckage after being stuck inside the burning vehicle for 28 seconds. He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital with burns to his hands, according to an update from F1.

"I just [saw] a massive flame and as we arrived, a very odd scene where you've got half a car pointing in the wrong direction and just across the barrier, a massive heat," Dr. Ian Roberts, one of the first to arrive on the scene, told ESPN.

"I could see Romain trying to get up," he continued. "We needed some way of getting to him. We've got the marshal there with an extinguisher and the extinguisher was just enough to push the flame away as Romain got high enough to then reach over and pull himself over the barrier ... I told him to sit down [when we reached the medical car]. He was very shaky and his visor was completely opaque and, in fact, melted."

Romain Grosjean crash
Credit: Clive Mason/Formula 1 via Getty

On Monday, Romain's wife, Marion, expressed her gratitude to those who helped in the rescue on social media, thanking her husband for the training he undertook that likely saved his life.

"Of course, I didn’t sleep last night," Marion, a French journalist, said in an Instagram post that was translated by F1. "To be honest, I don’t really know what to write. I just know that it’s good to do it. It always helps me."

"I don’t want to lie, the words aren’t coming easily," she continued. "And then I didn’t know what photo to post either. Which image to keep from yesterday? The flames? Him, held by the arms by his saviors? The wreckage of the car?"

Included with Marion's message was a photograph of the couple wearing matching t-shirts that read "champion" from one of Romain's race wins.

"I would have preferred if it to have the word ‘superhero’ on it rather than ‘champion’ – but if we have to, we’ll have it custom-made. For the children, because that’s how we explained the inexplicable," Marion said in her post.

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"Thank you to our children, who pushed him to pull himself out of the fire," she continued. "Thank you to his courage, his determination, his strength, his love, his physical training that probably kept him alive (Kim, Dan, love you guys). It didn’t take one miracle but several yesterday. I embrace you all."

According to F1, Romain is expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday and will be unable to participate in this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.