Romain Grsojean has been ruled out of next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he prepares to fly home to Switzerland to continue to receive treatment for the burns he suffered in an accident at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean was lucky to escape the accident alive after his Haas car became wedged in a crash barrier, broke in two and was engulfed in flames. In the space of 28 seconds, he managed to work his way free of the wreckage, but in doing so suffered burns to the backs of both hands.
The burn on his left hand has reduced the movement in his fingers due to inflammation and the need for ongoing treatment has ruled him out of a return at next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He will fly back to Switzerland on Sunday evening where he will continue to receive medical treatment.
Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, who is substituting for Grosjean this weekend, will continue to drive the car in Abu Dhabi.
Grosjean, who does not have a contract for 2021 and is likely not to return to F1, had hoped to race in Abu Dhabi so that his career at the top level of motor sport did not end with the accident.
“It is with great sadness that I will not be able to do my final race in Abu Dhabi and be with the team there,” Grosjean said. “We’ve tried as much as we could with the doctor to recover and to repair my hand, but the risk of racing is too big for my recovery and my health.
“So, the decision was made that I’m not going to race. It’s one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s obviously one of the wisest. I will miss the team, but I will be supporting them as ever.”
On Friday, Grosjean said he would ask all the F1 teams for a private test if he was unable to return to racing in Abu Dhabi and on Saturday Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said his team would be willing to provide a car.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said he had hoped Grosjean would return in Abu Dhabi, but believes the right decision was taken.
“I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas F1 Team,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said. “But we are all in agreement that he has to take the best course of action regarding his treatment and recovery from last Sunday’s incident.
“Romain has shown exceptional bravery and amazing spirit over the last few days — we know how badly he wanted to be able to return to the cockpit of the VF-20 in Abu Dhabi. And we all would have loved him to have been there too.
“Romain believed in our Formula One project at the very start, he committed to drive for us before we’d even built a car. There is no doubting the determination and sheer effort he has put into helping us to achieve what we have as a young team in Formula One.
“We will forever be grateful for that belief and commitment. It is those qualities, his drive and ambition, that I’m sure will aid him on his recovery. On behalf of Gene Haas and myself, together with the whole Haas F1 Team operation, we wish Romain well and a return to full health.”
Source by www.espn.com