Burnt-out Grosjean chassis to be exhibited
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 21st February, 2023 - 8:13pm
The burnt-out chassis from Romain Grosjean’s horrific fireball crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix will form a centrepiece of the Formula 1 Exhibition which is due to open next month in Madrid.
Grosjean came close to losing his life in the opening-lap incident at the Sakhir International Circuit when his Haas struck a barrier, split in two and burst into flames.
Anyone who has seen the footage from the accident knows Grosjean bravely fought for 28 seconds to extricate himself from his car as the flames lapped around him, and was within moments of being engulfed by the fire.
For the first time, and following a collaboration between the Haas team and the exhibition’s producers, what remains of the VF-20 chassis is to be put on display.
Hosted within a purpose-built room entitled ‘Survival’, the chassis will be accompanied by a large video installation showing previously unseen footage of the crash.
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Grosjean hails F1 survival cell
Recollecting the crash, Grosjean, who escaped with nothing more than severe burns to his hands, said: “From my point of view, it was a big accident but I didn’t realize the impact or how violent it was from the outside.
“It was only the next day when I asked someone to show me what it looked like that I realised.
“I had to break the headrest, punching it with my helmet and then I eventually managed to get my helmet through and stand up in the seat.
“I realised my left foot was stuck into the chassis and I pulled as hard as I could on my left leg. My shoe stayed in the chassis but my foot came loose so I was free to exit the car.
“It was 120 kilos of fuel plus the battery – both were on fire. Dr Jan Roberts, Alan (van der Merwe) from the medical car and one fireman were trying to open a gap in the fire to help me get out.
“I believe that helped me at least to get a vision of where I had to go and where the exit was.
“The survival cell is there for you in case of a huge impact. I was intact inside the shell. The chassis is still in one piece, the halo is there, and apart from the damage and burn it is still as it should be. I guess that saved my life.”
The room in which the chassis will be housed is one of seven unique experiences, each specially designed in collaboration with award-winning curators, artists, and filmmakers to offer a stunning adventure through the world of Formula 1.
The wider show, which opens on March 24 at IFEMA Madrid, also honours and explores the constant innovation that has pushed Formula 1 forward and boasts a wide range of artefacts and contributions from the sport’s most legendary teams, experts and personalities.
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