Romain Grosjean 'sort of OK' after fleeing fireball F1 crash

Romain Grosjean flees the burning F1 car. Credit: Twitter/F1

F1 driver Romain Grosjean has posted a video from his hospital bed, thanking medical staff for their help and saying he is "sort of OK", following a huge crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix when his car hit the wall, split in two and burst into flames.

Miraculously the 34-year-old only suffered burns to his hands which could be seen heavily bandaged in the video he posted on Sunday.

As well as thanking medical staff, the Frenchman also expressed his gratitude for the introduction of the halo - a titanium structure which protects the driver's head from flying debris.

“Hello everyone. Just wanted to say I am OK, well, sort of OK,” Grosjean said in the video as he waggled his bandaged hands.

“Thank you very much for all the messages.

“I wasn’t for the halo some years ago but I think it’s the greatest thing that we’ve brought into Formula One. Without it I wouldn’t be able to speak to you today.

“Thanks to all the medical staff at the scene and the hospital.

“Hopefully I can write to you soon some messages and tell you how it’s going.”

Just three corners into Sunday's race, Grosjean veered off the track, hitting the barriers with an impact registering at 53G (53 times the force of gravity).

Such was the force of the crash that the car split in two and burst into flames, with one part of the car going through the other side of the barrier.

The sport held its breath as the TV cameras cut away from the flashpoint and the race was immediately stopped.

A replay then showed Grosjean frantically leaping out of his fireball inferno with the aid of a medical doctor.

The 34-year-old was then pictured sitting in the medical car before gingerly heading towards a stretcher.

A spokesperson for Grosjean's Haas team said: “Romain has minor burns on his hands and ankles but otherwise he is OK. He is with the doctors now.”

Grosjean was seen walking after the crash. Credit: Twitter/F1

Grosjean was subsequently airlifted to the MDF MC Military Hospital, 10 miles north of the Bahrain International Circuit.

A statement from Formula One said Grosjean would stay in hospital overnight after suffering burns on both hands, but that he had not broken any bones.

Further replays showed that Grosjean moved to the right of the track, clipping the front-left wheel of Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri before crashing head on into the barriers.

There will now be question marks as to how Grosjean’s car managed to penetrate a steel barrier and even if the race will resume.

Lewis Hamilton was seen shaking his head upon watching a replay of the remarkable incident.

The car split in two during the crash. Credit: F1

The British driver, who maintained his lead at the front of the grid, tweeted while the race was suspended and took the crash as a reminder of the dangers of the sport.

“I’m so grateful Romain is safe. Wow… the risk we take is no joke, for those of you out there that forget that we put our life on the line for this sport and for what we love to do,” he wrote.

“Thankful to the FIA for the massive strides we’ve taken for Romain to walk away from that safely.”