Gene Haas has revealed that he was open to sponsoring Romain Grosjean’s IndyCar attempt, but pulled out following the Frenchman’s fiery Bahrain Grand Prix crash.
Grosjean had been working on securing an IndyCar deal prior to the Bahrain race after Haas announced it wouldn’t be renewing his or team-mate Kevin Magnussen’s contracts with the team.
Grosjean approached Gene Haas about sponsoring his IndyCar move, which the American was open to, but changed his mind after the horrific crash, which Grosjean was lucky to escape with his life. He ended up with burns to his hands, which forced him to skip the final two races of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
“He had asked if we would be willing to sponsor him in IndyCar, and I think at the beginning I was pretty open to it,” Haas told RACER. “But then when he crashed in Bahrain, I was just so happy he didn’t kill himself. For someone who has just absolutely destroyed the car, I couldn’t be happier that he survived it.
“I don’t know… he has a wife and three kids, and I just told him I couldn’t see giving him money to go out and kill himself. I just felt like he needs to stay home and take care of his family. He escaped the big one there.
“If you really understood what happened there. If that car had been a few degrees one way or the other, he wouldn’t have been able to get out through that hoop, and he would have died. So, extremely lucky.
“And the team was extremely lucky. I just could not fathom having to face a widow or his kids. I just couldn’t do that. So I said ‘Nah, stay home, I can’t help you there anymore’.”
Grosjean has since secured a deal with Dale Coyne Racing to race in IndyCar this year, but will not compete on the ovals.