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Romain Grosjean to drive F1 for the first time since Bahrain GP crash in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard


Toto Wolff: “He had a long and successful career in F1 and we wanted to make sure his last memories were behind the wheel of a winning car”; Grosjean will drive the title-winning W10 at Paul Ricard in June, including ahead of the French GP

Last updated: 05/05/21 8:54 am

Romain Grosjean will be making an emotional comeback to an F1 car for the first time since his terrible crash at the Bahrain GP last November during a special test for Mercedes next month.

The Frenchman will drive 2019 title-winner Lewis Hamilton’s W10 during a one-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in his homeland on June 29. He will also perform demonstration laps by car two days before the French GP.

Grosjean was burned in his hands when his Haas car smashed through barriers at 119 mph and caught fire on the first lap of the Bahrain race last November.

Romain Grosjean to drive F1 for the first time since Bahrain GP crash in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard

Romain Grosjean to drive F1 for the first time since Bahrain GP crash in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard 2:00
Warning: a video shows Haas rider Romain Grosjean driving away from hell after crashing in the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Warning: a video shows Haas rider Romain Grosjean driving away from hell after crashing in the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

With injuries preventing him from competing in what was to be his last F1 races after 10 years, Grosjean had said he would ask around the grid to see if he could have one last drive out – a wish from the boss of Mercedes, Toto. Wolff was quick to say the world champions would come true.

Six months later and this Mercedes race is now confirmed.

“I am so excited to get back into an F1 car! It will be a special opportunity for me and driving a world championship winning Mercedes will be a once in a lifetime experience,” said Grosjean, who has returned to racing in the American IndyCar series. . .

“I am very grateful to Mercedes F1 and Toto for this opportunity. The first time I heard about the possibility of driving a Mercedes was in my hospital bed in Bahrain when Toto was speaking to the media and made the invitation Reading this news applauded me very much!

“F1 didn’t have the chance to race in France in 2020 due to COVID, so driving a Mercedes to the French Grand Prix in 2021 and then testing at Circuit Paul Ricard, my home track, will be so special. . I can’t wait for the day to come. “

Romain Grosjean to drive F1 for the first time since Bahrain GP crash in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard

Romain Grosjean to drive F1 for the first time since Bahrain GP crash in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard 1:24
Warning: a video shows Romain Grosjean walking away from hell after a crash in the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Warning: a video shows Romain Grosjean walking away from hell after a crash in the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Wolff said: “We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity. The idea came when it looked like Romain would end his active Formula 1 career, and we didn’t want his accident to be his last moment in an F1 car.

“I have known Romain from his Formula 3 days when he won the Championship. He has had a long and successful career in F1 and we wanted to make sure his last memories were behind the wheel of a championship-winning car. to see Romain’s return to the W10.

“Romain’s accident reminds us of the dangers these guys face every time they step into the cockpit, but it’s also a testament to the incredible steps the sport has taken to improve safety over the years. know the F1 community will be celebrating Romain’s return on track. “

The W10 was the car in which Hamilton won 11 races en route to its sixth world championship two years ago.

“I’m really happy to see Romain back in F1 after his crash last year,” said Hamilton. “When it happened we all prayed for him and to see him walk away and recover so well was a huge relief. I can’t wait to see him back in France and welcome him to the team for the weekend – although it better take care of my W10! “

More soon…

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