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”. 

“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.”