FIA launches probe into fiery Grosjean crash at Bahrain Grand Prix

Stewards recover Haas F1’s French driver Romain Grosjean’s car during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit on Nov. 29, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 03 December 2020

FIA launches probe into fiery Grosjean crash at Bahrain Grand Prix

  • The Halo device is widely considered to have helped save Romain Grosjean’s life

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Motor racing chiefs announced on Thursday the launch of an investigation into Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain crash, saying the forensic probe would take “around six to eight” weeks to complete.
The French Formula One driver somehow wrenched himself free from his blazing Haas car with just burns to his hands and a broken left foot after a collision with Daniil Kvyat on the first lap of Sunday’s Grand Prix. He left hospital on Wednesday.
In the immediate aftermath of the shocking smash there was widespread praise for modern safety measures in the sport, but also concern over what F1’s motor sport managing director Ross Brawn described as “unpredictable” failures.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said it had “initiated a detailed analysis of Romain Grosjean’s accident at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.”
The FIA’s safety director, Adam Baker, said: “With so much data available in Formula 1, it allows us to accurately determine every element of what occurred and this work has already begun.
“We take this research very seriously and will follow a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened before proposing potential improvements.”
The FIA probe will look at a range of factors including Grosjean’s helmet, safety harness, headrest, in-car extinguisher and the Halo cockpit protection.
The Halo device is widely considered to have helped save Grosjean’s life as his car was sliced in two after careering into a barrier.
“The ‘halo’ saved the day and it saved Romain,” Brawn said on Sunday.
“There was controversy in developing it initially, but there can’t be any doubt now, so hats off to those who pushed for the introduction.”
But he added: “The fire is worrying. The split in the barrier is worrying and the barrier coming apart, but we can be happy with the safety of the car – that got us through today, but things failed in an unpredictable way.
“We haven’t seen anything like that for a very long time, but the barrier splitting normally results in a fatality.”
At the circuit new safety measures have been introduced to reduce the risk of a repeat crash at this Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Two rows of tires wrapped in a conveyor belt have been installed in front of a reconstructed guardrail at the exit of Turn Three.
Several drivers expressed serious concerns at the failure of the barrier and the manner in which it was punctured.
In other changes to the circuit, where this weekend’s Grand Prix will be using the shorter “outer loop’, a kerb has been removed at Turn Nine – which was used as Turn 13 last Sunday – and a tire barrier in the approach to that corner has been extended and enlarged to four rows in depth.
Grosjean left hospital on Wednesday and in an Instagram post he highlighted the professionalism of a marshal with an extinguisher and the FIA doctor in the following Safety Car, who was on the scene very quickly.
“I told him he was a hero,” said Grosjean.
“He went into the fire as much as he could to save me. I felt Ian’s hands pulling me over the barrier and I knew I was safe... life will never be the same again.”
Grosjean is resting and healing from burns at a hotel in Abu Dhabi where he hopes he will be fit enough to race in the season-closing race next weekend.


Al-Sharbatly wins Saudi National Guard showjumping competition

Abdullah Al-Sharbatly with the trophy. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 28 min 36 sec ago

Al-Sharbatly wins Saudi National Guard showjumping competition

  • The three-day competition was squeezed into two days due to heavy rain in Jeddah
  • About 130 horses were registered in the competition, which consisted of nine rounds, with three rounds each day

JEDDAH: Abdullah Al-Sharbatly on Saturday won the Saudi National Guard Ministry’s showjumping cup finale, which was held at the Jeddah Trio Ranch.

He received the cup from Brig. Gen. Saad Al-Ahmari, head of public relations at the Ministry of National Guards, Western Sector. He also received a cash prize of SR8,450 ($2,747) for securing first place.

Al-Sharbatly completed the show in 40:27 seconds on his horse Larry with a penalty-free score. 

Khaled Al-Mobty came second after finishing the show in 44:89 seconds, also with no penalties. He received a cash prize of SR7,150. 

Faisal Aba Al-Khail came third after ending the show in 43:33 seconds with 12 penalties.

Hasan Mohammed Al-Hadi came top in the beginners first round, followed by Khaled Mushait and Mishaal Al-Qahtani.

Mostafa Kanaan came first in the under-15 show round, followed by Oufi Rizq and Abdul -Majeed Hathir.

Khalid Al-Hadi won first place in the open round. Mohammed Bakaram came second and he was followed by Abdullah Ibrahim.

The three-day competition, which started on Thursday, was squeezed into two days due to heavy rain in Jeddah. 

It was held without spectators due to coronavirus restrictions and was organized by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, in partnership with the Ministry of National Guard and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. Around SR130,000 in cash prizes were allocated for the winners of all classes.

The competition consisted of nine rounds, with three rounds each day. About 130 horses were registered in the competition. The fences were set at 1.15 meters for the small grade, with about 80 riders competing on the first day.

Almost 40 equestrians took part in the 1.20m-1.25m medium grade. Another 20 competitors battled it out in the 1.30m-1.35m grade on the first day of competition.