Romain Grosjean has confirmed he will miss the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend and return home to Switzerland to further recover from his horror crash during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The burns on the back of his hands during the opening lap crash at the Bahrain International Circuit are too much for the Frenchman to consider a heroic return just two weeks later, and he will head home to be with his family to fully recover from the injuries.
It brings to a close a five-year run with the Haas F1 Team that began back in 2016 after the team confirmed his departure last month. He has secured the team’s best result in Formula 1 – fourth in the Austrian Grand Prix in 2018 – as well as a top six result in their first ever Grand Prix back in Australia.
“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.”
Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, is saddened that Grosjean will miss the final race in Abu Dhabi, but he understands that his health is more important than racing. He says he has been astonished by the bravery and spirit shown by the Frenchman since jumping out of his burning VF-20 last Sunday.
“I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas F1 Team,” said Steiner. “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. 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.”
Pietro Fittipaldi has been confirmed to race in place of Grosjean in Abu Dhabi having made his race debut in Formula 1 in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.