Romain Grosjean to miss the final grand prix of the season

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Romain Grosjean will miss the final grand prix of the season as a result of the burns he suffered in his fiery crash in Bahrain last weekend.

Grosjean wanted to race in Abu Dhabi next weekend to close off his Formula 1 career but will return home for further treatment on his injured hands.

Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi, who is standing in for Grosjean in Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix, will race instead.

“The risk of racing is too big for my recovery and my health,” Grosjean said.

“We’ve tried as much as we could with the doctor to recover and to repair my hand. It’s one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s obviously one of the wisest.”

Grosjean is out of contract for next year after his Haas team decided to sign two new drivers for 2021 and 2022, and his racing future is uncertain.

The 34-year-old joined Haas for their debut season in F1 in 2016 and has driven there ever since.

Previously, he had a half-season for Renault in 2009, before returning to F1 in 2012 to make his full-season’s debut with that team’s new iteration as Lotus, where he stayed for four years and scored 10 podiums, narrowly missing out on at least one win.

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said: “I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas F1 Team.

“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.”

Grosjean has given a series of vivid and moving interviews about his accident in the past week, describing how he “saw death coming” but fought to get out of the burning wreckage, which was trapped in a barrier off the ground, for the sake of his children.

He said before this announcement that if he could not race in Abu Dhabi he would ring round all the F1 teams to see if they could give him a few laps in their car to close off his career.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said on Saturday he would be prepared to make a car available to Grosjean for this purpose if no-one else would.

BBC

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