Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won a crash-marred Bahrain Grand Prix where Romain Grosjean somehow escaped with only minor burns after his car exploded into a fireball.
The Frenchman’s Haas car was ripped in half and engulfed in flames as it speared through protective barriers immediately after the start, following contact with the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat.
The impact was measured at over 50G, according to a spokesman for the sport’s governing FIA.
“[Romain] is stable and being taken by helicopter to the MDF MC Military Hospital for further evaluation,” the governing body said.
WATCH | Massive crash at Bahrain Grand Prix splits F1 car in half:
A spokesman for Grosjean’s Haas team said the 34-year-old had suffered minor burns on his hands and ankles and had one or more suspected broken ribs.
The moment <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/RomainGrosjean?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RomainGrosjean</a> got out of the car. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#F1</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BahrainGP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BahrainGP</a> <a href=”https://t.co/gRG47tlT0g”>pic.twitter.com/gRG47tlT0g</a>
Drivers and team members stood and applauded as they saw the images of Grosjean climbing over the barrier to safety and being sprayed with a fire extinguisher.
The accident happened when Grosjean lost grip and slid to the right, where his back wheel clipped the front of Daniil Kvyat’s Alpha-Tauri and he flew off into the barrier.
At the time, seven-time F1 champion Hamilton was leading Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
Officials worked quickly to build a makeshift crash barrier where the old one was destroyed.
Canada’s Stroll unhurt in separate crash
Hamilton was subdued and did not celebrate his win after climbing out of his car, other than a brief fist-pump with the Red Bull drivers.
“It was such a shocking image to see … horrifying. It could have been so much worse,” Hamilton said. “I respect the dangers that are in this sport.”
WATCH | Romain Grosjean escapes car after crash at Bahrain GP:
Moments after the race restarted about 90 minutes later, on the third lap of 57, there was another incident as Montreal driver Lance Stroll’s Racing Point clipped the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat and flipped over.
Stroll joked about hanging upside down in his car, before squirming out. He was unharmed.
Montreal native Nicholas Latifi, driving for Williams, was 14th.
Kvyat was involved in both crashes but not at fault.
The first accident happened when Grosjean lost grip and slid to the right, where his back wheel clipped the front of Kvyat’s car and he flew off into the barrier.
Hamilton’s record-extending 95th win saw him finish ahead of Verstappen, who took his 41st career podium and a bonus point with the fastest lap.
Perez looked set to finish third and clinch his 10th career podium, but his engine blew with three laps left and flames poured from the back of his car as he pulled over to the side.
That put Red Bull’s Alexander Albon into third ahead of the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Jr. while Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was only eighth.
There is another race in Bahrain next Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.
Extraordinary images of the Romain Grosjean accident.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SkyF1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SkyF1</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#F1</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BahrainGP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BahrainGP</a> 🇧🇭 <a href=”https://t.co/4F9oDRNLgs”>pic.twitter.com/4F9oDRNLgs</a>