Haas driver Romain Grosjean in 'miracle' escape after high-speed crash

Formula One driver Romain Grosjean leaped to safety in a "miracle" escape after his Haas car was ripped in half and engulfed in flames in a first-lap accident that halted yesterday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old Frenchman, who was able to free himself from the wreckage and jump clear of the fire after the car penetrated the barriers, was taken to a military hospital for checks.

"It is a miracle he is alive," said Britain's 1996 world champion Damon Hill, expressing his "absolute shock and horror" at the images on Sky television.

FIA medical delegate Ian Roberts rushed forward to assist Grosjean as marshals extinguished the burning car.

The impact was measured at more than 50G, according to a spokesman for the sport's governing FIA.

"We just haven't seen anything like that since something like Gerhard's accident in Imola all those years ago," said Hill, referring to a fiery 1989 crash that ruptured the fuel tank on Austrian Gerhard Berger's Ferrari.

A Haas spokesman said Grosjean had suffered minor burns on his hands and ankles and one or more suspected broken ribs.

Replays showed the Frenchman limping away.

The race was delayed for an hour and 20 minutes as track workers removed the wrecked barrier and replaced it.

Hill said the halo head-protection device, introduced in 2018, seemed to have saved Grosjean from serious injury. Haas principal Guenther Steiner agreed.

Medical car driver Alan van der Merwe added: "The halo, the barriers, the seatbelts... Without just one of those things, it could have been a very different outcome." - REUTERS