Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who survived a terrifying accident at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, is hoping to return to racing for the final grand prix of the season, his team boss Guenther Steiner has said.
Grosjean escaped from the fiery accident in Bahrain without severe injuries and is being treated in hospital for second-degree burns on the backs of his hands.
His injuries mean he will not be able to take part in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain and will be replaced by reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
However, the Frenchman is hoping to return for the season finale in Abu Dhabi on December 13, which will be the last race of his Haas contract and potentially the last race of his Formula One career.
Speaking in an online press conference on Tuesday, Steiner said he had spoken to Grosjean that day and his driver was keen to return if his burns have sufficiently healed.
« Yes, absolutely, » Steiner said when asked if his driver was also mentally prepared to race again. « That is his aim now, to heal up [and] that he wants to do Abu Dhabi. »
Steiner revealed Grosjean would spend an extra night in hospital on Tuesday, but said it was as a precaution and not due to further complications with his injuries.
« I just spoke with one of his guys, as he was with the doctor before, they did something with the burns, I don’t know exactly what, » Steiner said. « He’s staying another night in the hospital, but it’s nothing to be preoccupied with.
« They just said it’s a safer environment, I guess mostly because of the burns. They said we keep you here another night.
« But everything is going good. His guy, just talked with him, told me the doctors are happy with him and the healing process is as they would have seen it coming. No set back or nothing. »
Grosjean posted a photo from his hospital room on Tuesday, showing him training with bandages on his hands.
Steiner said the FIA had already inspected the remains of Grosjean’s car, which split a crash barrier and burst into flames during the 53G impact on Sunday night. A full investigation is expected to follow that may result in new F1 safety measures in the future.
« They were here [at the track] yesterday, if I say all day maybe it’s an exaggeration, but they spent four to six hours here, [FIA technical delegate] Jo Bauer and [FIA head of competitor safety] Nuno Costa were inspecting everything and everything was very well inspected, » Steiner said.
« I think there is a meeting happening today or tomorrow [Tuesday or Wednesday] with our guys in case they have any questions, but they are done with the car and we can take the car back, but there is no outcome yet.
« For sure when you do an investigation you come up with how each bit can be developed better for the future to be safer, but as far as I know they have no issues with our car at all and everything was to the regulations.
« So the meeting is tomorrow, but I don’t think anything was suspect. Now we need to see what is the best way to make it even better. »