Hamilton: Grosjean accident shows 'this is a dangerous sport'

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the pits while the race is stopped watches a replay of the crash suffered by Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team at the start of the race. 29.11.2020. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Bahrain Grand Prix
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton was able to celebrate another Formula 1 victory in Bahrain on Sunday - his fifth in a row in 2020 - but afterwards his first thoughts were about the horrific accident involving Romain Grosjean at the start of the race.

Grosjean spun off at turn 3 after contact with Daniil Kvyat, and the car was torn in half by the impact. Fuel spilling out then ignited into a fireball leaving the driver scrambling to jump clear with the aid of marshals and medical teams.

"It was such a shocking image to see,” Hamilton said afterwards, having watched video footage of the accident during the prolonged red flag stoppage that ensued as track workers repaired the damage to the barrier.

“It's a reminder to us, and hopefully to the people that are watching, that this is a dangerous sport," he said. “When I get in the car, I know that I'm taking risk, and I respect the dangers that are in this sport.

“We are out there pushing to the limit and that limit, it needs to be respected," he continued. “I think it shows an amazing job that F1 has done, the FIA have done over time, to be able to walk away from something like that."

Hamilton pointed out the crucial role that the Halo cockpit protection system - once considered an unwelcome and controversial safety measure - had played in saving Grosjean.

“The cockpit - I don't know what Gs he pulled, but I'm just so grateful that the Halo worked," Hamilton said. "I'm grateful the barrier didn't slice his head off or something like that. It could have been so much worse.

“But of course, that will be investigated and they will do a lot of work to try and make sure that that doesn't happen again.”

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W11 at the end of the race. 29.11.2020. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Bahrain Grand Prix

Hamilton admitted that it had been hard to get back into the right mindset for the eventual restart. And while it had looked like an easy night's work for him as he cruised to victory, he insisted that it had actually been a hard challenge with rivals Red Bull pressing hard.

“It really was physically very demanding," he said. "They [Red Bull] had a lot of speed today so I was flat out the whole way, trying to try to keep them at bay.

“This track has always been physical we got lots of high speed corners, so I was definitely feeling it."

Even at the end, Hamilton was anxious about the possibility of a late safety car leaving him vulnerable on older tyres to those of Max Verstappen.

“I managed to just about reply to him when I needed to," Hamilton acknowledged. "But it was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn't really quite sure how it would play out at the end.

"I'm massively grateful and thankful to my team, because at the end of the day they did a great job with the strategy.”

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