Grosjean's charred Bahrain GP chassis on display in Madrid
The charred Haas VF-20 tub from which Romain Grosjean miraculously extracted himself after a fiery crash on the opening lap of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix is set to go on public display next month in Madrid.
Grosjean underwent one of the most harrowing experiences a human being can endure when he managed to pull himself out of his cramped wreck that had settled ablaze behind a guardrail.
That the Frenchman had survived the massive impact as his car pierced the barrier had been a miracle in itself – and a testimony to the safety of F1’s modern machines.
But extricating himself from the blaze required a superhuman effort on the part of the brave Haas driver, and perhaps a divine intervention.
As Grosjean limped away from the wreck, helped by F1’s safety crews, the Haas’ burning tub was extinguished, its smoking remains a gruesome reminder of what could have been.
Following a collaboration between Haas and the producers of the ground-breaking and immersive Formula 1 Exhibition that will open in Madrid on March 24, Grosjean’s Bahrain chassis will be on public display for the very first time.
The exhibition includes six principal rooms, each specially commissioned for the show and offering a unique perspective on the story of Formula 1.
But a seventh purpose-built room titled ‘Survival’ will showcase the Haas chassis that will be accompanied by a large video installation showing previously unseen footage of the crash.
- Grosjean: ‘Funny’ that US fans only remember me for F1 crash
In a short film released by the Formula 1 Exhibition’s promoters on Tuesday, Grosjean revisited his dramatic crash and harrowing escape from death.
“From my point of view, it was a big accident but I didn’t realise the impact or how violent it was from the outside,” Grosjean recalled.
“It was only the next day when I asked someone to show me what it looked like that I realised. My wife was actually watching that race with my dad and my kids. They will remember that moment their entire life. They were just spectators waiting to hear something… waiting to see something from Bahrain.”
“I had to break the headrest, punching it with my helmet and then I eventually managed to get my helmet through and stand up in the seat. I realised my left foot was stuck into the chassis and I pulled as hard as I could on my left leg. My shoe stayed in the chassis but my foot came loose so I was free to exit the car.
“It was 120 kilos of fuel plus the battery – both were on fire. Dr Ian Roberts, Alan [van der Merwe] from the medical car and one fireman were trying to open a gap in the fire to help me get out. I believe that helped me at least to get a vision of where I had to go and where the exit was.
“The survival cell is there for you in case of a huge impact. I was intact inside the shell. The chassis is still in one piece, the halo is there and apart from the damage and burn it is still as it should be. I guess that saved my life.”
While the Exhibition’s display is a testimony to modern F1 safety, its also a tribute to all those who paid a heavy price to improve the sport’s safeness.
Grand Prix racing’s first ever Formula 1 Exhibition will open on March 24 and will be hosted at the renowned IFEMA Madrid.
“It saved my life” – Romain Grosjean
For the first time, the remains of Grosjean’s car from his dramatic 2020 crash in Bahrain will go on display. Fans visiting the brand new @F1Exhibition in Madrid will be able to see it. Opening 24 March #F1 pic.twitter.com/pSHWxpcFuI
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 21, 2023
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