Max Verstappen says he would “kick out” a driver for refusing to race after having a serious crash if he was a Formula 1 team boss.

The Red Bull driver was responding to a suggestion that drivers should be given the option to pull out of races in the event of a serious accident occurring, following Romain Grosjean’s terrifying 50G crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Grosjean crashed heavily at Turn 3 on the opening lap of Sunday’s race in Sakhir when he slammed into the barriers at 137mph after making contact while battling for position towards the back of the field.

The Frenchman tore through the armco barriers on the exit of the corner in an impact that registered over 50G and ripped his car in half before dramatically bursting into flames.

Grosjean was able to escape his burning Haas with only minor burns, though he is currently being kept under observation in hospital and being treated for his injuries.

A number of drivers admitted that the severity of the incident and subsequent delays made it hard for them to keep focus before taking the restart over an hour after the incident occurred.

But Verstappen rejected the notion that drivers should be given the option of not continuing in a race in the event of such a crash.

“I don’t get why you wouldn’t race,” the Dutchman said. “If I would be the team boss I would kick him out of the seat.

“If the guy wouldn’t race, if I would be the team boss, I would tell him ‘then you never sit in the seat again’.”

Responding to the same question, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who praised the FIA’s work on safety for enabling Grosjean to survive his horrific accident, replied: “We’re not the safety regulators. We’re here to do a job and we rely on the FIA who are aware of safety and we trust them implicitly. So no, I don’t think so.”

Formula 2 racer Jack Aitken, who competed in the race in which Anthoine Hubert lost his life at Spa-Francorchamps last year, disagreed with Verstappen’s comments.

“I don’t wish upon anyone the experiences that would make him realise how wrong he could be,” the Williams development driver wrote on Twitter.

“It’s not anything more than saying we’re all human, and that scene was traumatic, especially not knowing Romain’s condition immediately,” he continued.

“We’re here to race, yes, but not under any circumstances. Knowing he was ok certainly made it a lot easier for them, I’m sure.”

 

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