Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has begun an investigation into the high-speed accident involving Romain Grosjean at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean suffered a violent accident between Turns 3 and 4 at the start of Sunday’s race in which his car split in two and burst into flames.
Grosjean extricated himself from the burning wreckage, having been in the flames for almost half a minute, and was rapidly tended to by Formula 1’s medical crew.
He spent three nights in hospital due to minor burns to the rear of his hands and was discharged on Wednesday.
On Thursday the FIA confirmed that an investigation has been launched and it will work with all relevant parties, including Formula 1’s Commercial Rights Holder Liberty Media, Grosjean’s Haas team and the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association.
The FIA will “look at all areas” including safety devices such as the helmet, HANS, harness, clothing, the survival cell, headrest, the in-car extinguisher system, and the Halo.
The relevant bodies will also investigate chassis integrity and the performance of the barrier “for an impact of that energy and trajectory.”
It is believed that Grosjean suffered an impact of 53G at a speed of 221km/h.
The role of the trackside marshals and the medical crew will also be assessed.
The FIA outlined that it also has substantial data to use for the investigation.
Each car has an accident data recorder, which will reveal the exact speed and forces on the car, while every driver wears an in-ear accelerometer that measures head movement in a crash.
A multitude of video angles will be used including a camera, which is pointed at the driver’s helmet, and which films at 400 frames per second, revealing in slow motion what happened during the accident.
It is anticipated that it will take around six to eight weeks to complete before its findings are publicised.
The process will follow that of around 30 accident investigations that are undertaken annually by the FIA’s Safety Department and findings will be fed into the governing body’s World Accident Database.
“As with all serious accidents, we will analyse every aspect of this crash and collaborate with all parties involved,” said FIA Safety Director Adam Baker.
“With so much data available in Formula 1, it allows us to accurately determine every element of what occurred and this work has already begun.
“We take this research very seriously and will follow a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened before proposing potential improvements.”