The Mercedes world champions are prepared to arrange a private test for Romain Groshjan next year if his injuries prevent him from returning to the cockpit during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.
Groshan escaped a terrible accident last Sunday during the Grand Prix of Bahrain, in which his car got stuck in the crash barrier, broke in two and went up in flames.
In 28 seconds he was able to free himself from the debris, but suffered burns on the back of his hands and injuries to his left ankle. Because of these injuries he could not participate in the Grand Prix of Saheehir next weekend, which will be held on another circuit with the same set-up.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Romain Groshan has miraculously escaped after a fire at the GP of Bahrain. Mark Thompson/Getty Pictures
He plans to return to racing in Abu Dhabi, which would be his last race with Team Haas and probably as a Formula 1 driver, but said he wouldn’t risk his recovery for that.
I want to get back in the car, because it was my life and I want to make it to the finish line when I finish my Formula 1 career, said Groshyan on Friday.
I don’t want it to end on a bad day, even though the shots where Haas crosses the line at the end of the field are less dramatic and less broadcast around the world [than my misfortune], I want it to happen.
If that doesn’t happen, everything will be fine. In the future I will have the opportunity to cross other finish lines. Doctors, as they say, it’s still hard to understand.
Right hand, 100% ready. The strength of your left hand is improving day by day – the strength is, but the mobility is still very swollen, due to the inflammation, so you have to start reducing the inflammation. Transplantation [of skin] is so far not excluded.
We’ll see about that. I wouldn’t risk losing my left thumb and index finger to go to Abu Dhabi.
It would be great to go to Abu Dhabi, but if not, I’ll call all F1 teams to see if anyone offers me a private test in January or so to get back in the car and have 10 or 15 laps in front of me.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Romain Groshyan needed help in an ambulance after the accident. HAMAD I MOHAMMED/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Formula 1 rules allow private testing on vehicles more than two years old.
In a speech on Saturday night, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he would put Groshyan back on track in a Formula 1 car if none of the other teams could. If we’re allowed to do it, and no one else in the universe of his team where he walked gives him that chance, we’ll do it.
Groshjan does not have an F1 contract within a year after Haas’ decision to replace him and his teammate Kevin Magnussen with Nikita Mazepin and Mik Schumacher from 2021.
He said he knew from the moment he thought about it after the accident that he wanted to return to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi if possible.
Since Sunday night, the first video conversation was with my children, my wife and my father. I said I was going to walk in Abu Dhabi and you can imagine their reaction, they weren’t very impressed with me and I won’t hold it against them, said Groshan.
I will always understand that they don’t accept it, but I say it’s very selfish, that it’s what I need and what I want to do. If that doesn’t happen, well, I’m alive, I have many other options in the future, I have a big license in 2021, and we saw [this year] that nobody is insured by KOVID-19, so let’s see.