Grosjean targeting F1 return for Abu Dhabi GP – F1

by Dec 1, 20200 comments

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Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner says that Romain Grosjean wants to return for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to compete in his final race with the team.

The Frenchman had a fortunate escape from his firey opening lap crash in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix on the Bahrain outer loop to allow burns on his hands to heal, with reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi taking his place.

However, Steiner says that Grosjean informed him on Monday of his intention to return for the last race of the season, assuming he gets medical clearance to drive following the 50g impact.

PLUS: How F1’s safety advances saved Grosjean

Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen will both be departing the team at season’s end, with Haas confirming Formula 2 racer Nikita Mazepin as its first driver for 2021 on Tuesday. F2 points leader Mick Schumacher is also expected to join the team.

Grosjean will also stay an extra night in hospital as his recovery process continues, despite an initial plan to discharge him on Tuesday.

Confirming the burns he sustained made it impossible to race this weekend, Steiner said Grosjean was “not in a hurry to decide what to do” for the Abu Dhabi GP as there is “plenty of time” to see how his burns heal before committing to a decision.

“The aim is really Romain would like to do it,” said Steiner of the final race.

“I spoke to him yesterday about it. He really wants to be in Abi Dhabi. But I said, ‘Try to get better, we speak on Sunday or Monday let’s say, how you feel, if it is doable.’

“Pietro is here, Romain is here, we just have to see how he feels, so I’m not in a hurry to decide what to do, or what is needed. It depends on his health.

“I just spoke with one of his guys, because he was with the doctor before. They did something on the burns, I don’t know exactly what.”

Steiner stressed that the extra night was not a sign of an unforeseen problem.

“He’s staying another night in the hospital, but there’s nothing to be preoccupied with,” he explained.

“They just said it’s a safer environment, mostly because of the burns. They just said we keep you here another night. But everything is going good.

“This guy he’s got with him told me the doctors are very happy, and it’s going just as they would have seen it coming, so there’s no setback or anything.”

COLUMN: The questions F1 must ask after Grosjean’s crash

Steiner also gave some insight into what Grosjean recalls of his experience, noting that the Frenchman didn’t realise that he had made contact with Daniil Kvyat.

“He remembers how he wanted to get out, or how he got out, he explained that very well to me,” said Steiner.

“What he asked me was, ‘How did I end up there?’ I said, ‘You ran over Kvyat’s car, basically, you turned right and ran over his front wheel, and that turned you around and put you in the wall.’

“He said, ‘I didn’t see the car.’ I don’t want to put words in his mouth and say he doesn’t remember it, I think he didn’t realise what he did.

“I wouldn’t say he lost any memory of it. I think it went so quick that he cannot remember it.”

Asked if Grosjean had watched TV replays, Steiner said: “I don’t think he looked a lot at it. Again, I didn’t want to go there and specifically ask him, I didn’t want to put him in that awkward position to say yes or no.”

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