Williams’ George Russell says Romain Grosjean’s opening-lap accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix “felt like something from a movie”, having been following the Haas driver through the first few corners.
Grosjean’s car speared off violently into the barrier on the inside of the circuit between Turns 3 and 4 after colliding with the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kyvat.
The Frenchman was taken to a nearby military hospital to be treated for burns to his hands and was kept in hospital overnight for observation.
Russell had started five places higher on the grid but slipped rearweards after making a slow getaway.
“I saw as he speared off into the barrier and naturally looked into my mirror and saw a ball of flames,” described Russell.
“It felt like something from a movie almost, absolutely horrific, and a reminder to all of us, and everyone, motorsport is dangerous.
“We go out there, in a race car, putting their lives on the line, and it was absolutely horrific. It says a lot how the safety is progressing. It will never be perfectly safe but to see him walk away, albeit pretty burnt, was incredible.”
Russell’s Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi praised the FIA for its continued safety improvements and expects further strides to be made following Grosjean’s crash.
“It shows motorsport is dangerous, the risks are there, sometimes people at home forget that,” added Latifi.
“When you see exciting races, cars crashing with each other, it makes for a good show but it doesn’t come without potential risks and consequences.
“It shows the strides the FIA has continued to make with safety. There’s a lot of things that could have gone a lot worse in different circumstances.
“The halo again showed itself to be a very critical addition to the car, and the safety which is amazing, all the fireproof clothing that we wear, and I’m sure this accident will prove another catalyst to push to even more safety on all fronts.”
Russell and Latifi finished the race in 12th and 14th place respectively.