Daniil Kvyat admits he found it difficult to return to the cockpit of his Formula 1 car and complete the Bahrain Grand Prix following Romain Grosjean’s horrific accident. 

Kvyat and Grosjean made contact on the opening lap in Bahrain, a tangle which sent the Haas driver spearing off into the Turn 3 barriers at high-speed. Grosjean’s car pierced the barriers and was torn in half before bursting into flames, forcing the race to be immediately red-flagged. 

The incident was not investigated and no driver was blamed for the crash. Kvyat said that witnessing Grosjean’s car exploding and becoming engulfed in fire in his mirrors was “shocking”. 

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“It was a difficult day,” Kvyat said. “I saw him making contact and there was not much I could do to avoid that. Of course I think in the first lap these things happen. I was first angry that I saw the car cut across like this.

“But then immediately I watched in my mirrors and I could see the fire, the explosion. It was a very strange emotion, strange feeling. I never saw something like this in all my racing career. To see this, like something you see only in the movies, was a bit shocking to be honest.”

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost revealed he had to console Kvyat during the red-flag period while the race was suspended and reassured him that the accident was not his fault. 

“I was a bit worried at first when I came in the pit lane, of course, about him,” Kvyat explained. “But then luckily they told me and they showed the footage of him being OK. I was relieved.

“But of course the image stays with you. It wasn’t easy to get back [in], to be honest. But it’s my job so I just pressed the reset button and go again.”