Romain Grosjean admits the burns sustained to his left hand in his horrific Bahrain Grand Prix crash could prevent him from returning for what is set to be the final Formula 1 race of his career in Abu Dhabi

Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is standing in for Grosjean at this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix as the Frenchman continues his recovery from his miraculous escape from the burning wreckage of his car which split into two upon impact following a high-speed, head-on crash with the barriers last weekend. 

The Frenchman suffered burns to his hands and injured his left ankle as he clambered out of his burning VF-20, having provided a detailed account of his extraordinary survival story to the media via a Zoom call on Friday.

Grosjean has set himself the target of returning to contest the final race of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit, though he conceded that might not be possible if his burns have not fully healed. 

"Jumping back in the car, it's been my life, and I would like to cross the finish line properly when I finish my career in F1," he said.

"I don't really want it to be over on that day. Even if the footage of having a Haas crossing at the back of the field will be less dramatic and probably less broadcasted around the world, I would like to.

"If it doesn't happen, it's okay, I will have other opportunities to cross other finish lines in the future. The doctors say that is difficult to know yet. The right hand 100% will be ready.

"The strength and the mobility in the left hand gets better day after day. The strength is here.

"The mobility, there's still a lot of swelling from the inflammation. So, this needs to start reducing. But grafts haven't been ruled out yet.

"I'm joking, I'm happy, but the pain of the last two days has been high. I'm quite strong with pain. I broke my right hand early this year, falling down in the kitchen.

"I haven't told anyone, but it was an open break, two bones I put myself in place, and went to the hospital, and the pain was okay, so I'm very strong with some pain.”

Grosjean said he is not prepared to risk permanent damage to his left hand by attempting a return to the cockpit in Abu Dhabi but is hopeful of conducting a private F1 test early next year in the event of him being unable to complete his final race. 

"I won't take the risk of losing mobility in my left index and left thumb for the rest of my life, just to go to Abu Dhabi," he explained. 

"The story would be beautiful to go to Abu Dhabi. If I don't, I'll call every single F1 team and see if anyone would offer me a private test in January or so, to jump back in the car, and have 10-15 laps to myself.

"On Sunday night the first video call I did with my wife and kids, and my dad was there, I said, 'I will race in Abu Dhabi’.

"You can imagine their reaction, they weren't very impressed with me! And I won't blame them, and I always understand that they don't accept it. It’s very selfish, but it's what I need, and it's what I want to do.

"If it doesn't happen, I'm alive, I will have plenty of opportunities in the future. I will have a superlicence in 2021, and we've seen that no one is safe from COVID. So let's see."

 

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