Injured Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean will miss next weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Frenchman is returning home to Switzerland in order to continue his recovery and receive on-going medical treatment on the burns he suffered on the back of his hands following his fiery first-lap crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Haas has announced that Grosjean will not contest what was likely to be his last F1 race, with stand-in Pietro Fittipaldi, who is making his F1 grand prix debut this weekend, continuing to deputise in his place at the season-finale.

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Grosjean, who had been targeting a return to race in Abu Dhabi but stressed he would not do so at the risk of permanently damaging his left hand, said it was “one of the hardest decisions of my life”.

“It is with great sadness that I will not be able to do my final race in Abu Dhabi and be with the team there,” said Grosjean.

“We’ve tried as much as we could with the doctor to recover and to repair my hand, but the risk of racing is too big for my recovery and my health.

“So, the decision was made that I’m not going to race. It’s one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s obviously one of the wisest. I will miss the team, but I will be supporting them as ever.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner praised Grosjean for the “exceptional bravery and amazing spirit” he has demonstrated in the wake of his terrifying accident but acknowledged the decision was ultimately the best course of action.

“I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas F1 Team,” Steiner said. “But we are all in agreement that he has to take the best course of action regarding his treatment and recovery from last Sunday’s incident.

“Romain has shown exceptional bravery and amazing spirit over the last few days – we know how badly he wanted to be able to return to the cockpit of the VF-20 in Abu Dhabi. And we all would have loved him to have been there too.” 

“Romain believed in our Formula 1 project at the very start, he committed to drive for us before we’d even built a car,” Steiner added.

“There is no doubting the determination and sheer effort he has put into helping us to achieve what we have as a young team in Formula 1. We will forever be grateful for that belief and commitment.

“It is those qualities, his drive and ambition, that I’m sure will aid him on his recovery. On behalf of Gene Haas and myself, together with the whole Haas F1 Team operation, we wish Romain well and a return to full health.”

Grosjean has indicated that he would like to organise a private test in the new year as a farewell from F1 if he was unable to race in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Saturday that the German manufacturer would be willing to allow Grosjean to test-drive one of its championship-winning cars if permitted to do so.