RACE DEBRIEF

    After one of the most dramatic accidents in Formula 1 in recent memory, Romain Grosjean’s wife Marion has paid tribute to her husband, his rescuers and his fans around the world – as well as the family of Jules Bianchi, the French racer who lost his life as a result of head injuries sustained during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

    Grosjean collided with the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat on Lap 1 of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and was sent skating into the barriers with enough force that his Haas VF-20 was broken in two, with Grosjean’s survival cell penetrating the Armco barrier as the car erupted in flames.

    READ MORE: ‘Crazy… I’ve not seen fire like that before’ – Medical Car team describe scene that awaited them after Grosjean crash

    Grosjean was able to clamber out of the car unaided and jump to safety – helped by the marshals and the Medical Car team of Alan van der Merwe and Dr Ian Roberts – with the Frenchman suffering nothing worse than burns to his hands, for which he was being treated in the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital in nearby Riffa.

    2020 Bahrain Grand Prix: FIA medical team explain Romain Grosjean rescue

    And writing after the accident, Marion Grosjean – with whom the Haas driver has three children – took to Instagram to post a lengthy and emotional tribute to her husband, and those who had shown their support in the aftermath of the accident – as well as the family of Jules Bianchi, whose fatal crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix led to the development of the halo device which Grosjean credited for saving his life.

    READ MORE: Grosjean describes halo as 'greatest thing' from hospital bed, saying he 'wouldn't be here without it'

    Marion Grosjean’s statement in full

    Of course, I didn’t sleep last night.

    To be honest, I don’t really know what to write. I just know that it’s good to do it. It always helps me.

    Anyway, this morning, I don’t want to lie, the words aren’t coming easily. That will make him laugh, he who knows how much I like to talk. He to whom I always write so much.

    And then I didn’t know what photo to post either. Which image to keep from yesterday? The flames? Him, held by the arms by his saviours? The wreckage of the car?

    I’ve chosen this one, a bit stupidly. Because we’re both wearing the same T-shirt of his GP2 title. The one I still sleep in sometimes. I would have preferred if it to have the word ‘superhero’ on it rather than ‘champion’ – but if we have to, we’ll have it custom-made. For the children, because that’s how we explained the inexplicable.

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    On Twitter, late [last night], I used useful words, urgent words, to protect them above all. I mentioned the ‘shield of love’ that protected him. Today, I have to find other expressions, come up with other rational phrases, to express the feelings. We will find them together.

    Expressions of gratitude, for the men of the Medical Car.

    Expressions of friendship, for Jean Todt and his unfailing humanity.

    Expressions of thanks for you all, who have shown your support, your affection, your kindness which is so precious to us.

    Thank you to the family of Jules Bianchi; to his father Philippe, who I think of constantly. To Jules himself. To Kevin Magnussen for his words. To the team at Canal+ for their sensitivity. I will forget some people, excuse me.

    Thank you to our children, who pushed him to pull himself out of the fire. Thank you to his courage, his determination, his strength, his love, his physical training that probably kept him alive (Kim, Dan, love you guys). It didn’t take one miracle but several yesterday. I embrace you all.

    READ MORE: Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Grosjean for Sakhir Grand Prix

    Meanwhile, with Grosjean – who was visited in hospital on Monday morning by Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner, and is expected to be discharged on Tuesday – ruled out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix due to the extent of his burns, Haas confirmed that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi would make his F1 debut in the race in Grosjean’s place, bringing the Fittipaldi name back into Formula 1 for the first time since 1994.