Dubai: Romain Grosjean is back behind the wheel of his Haas F1 car for the first time since escaping a fireball crash with just burns to his hands during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Just six days after the 34-year-old Frenchman escaped from the blaze that engulfed him on the opening lap of last Sunday’s race, he was back in the paddock again.
He later posted a photo of himself in his car on social media, adding the message: “Not my usual racing gloves on, but sitting back in @haasfeteam felt really good. I was so happy.”
Grosjean’s car split in half in a 245kph impact with the barriers in one of the most dramatic incidents in the recent history of Formula One.
The guardrail ruptured in the crash and left him trapped in the front half of his wrecked car while the rear half broke away and stopped close by.
He has said he “saw death too closely” in the crash: “I thought: ‘It can’t end like this, not now’. I tried to get out again, but I couldn’t, so I sat down and I saw death, not close up, but from too close It’s a feeling that I wish on no one.”
The drivers are competing in Bahrain for the second week in a row with the Sakhir Grand Prix to take place on Sunday.
Valtteri Bottas pipped stand-in Mercedes teammate George Russell to take pole position with already-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton sitting out the race after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Briton is hoping to be back on the grid for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next week.