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F1 driver Grosjean's car crashes and bursts into flames leaving him with 'minor burns'

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By Emma Beswick with AP
Staff extinguish French driver Romain Grosjean's car after a crash during the Formula One race in Bahrain, Nov 29, 2020.
Staff extinguish French driver Romain Grosjean's car after a crash during the Formula One race in Bahrain, Nov 29, 2020.   -   Copyright  Brynn Lennon/AP
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Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has escaped with his life after a crash caused his vehicle to burst into flames moments after the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Haas, the driver's F1 team, said he had sustained "minor burns on his hands and ankles but otherwise he is ok".

Grosjean was being transported to hospital for further medical evaluation, they added.

The 34-year-old French driver skidded off the track on the first lap and his car was split in two by a barrier, then burst into flames.

Grosjean clambered out of the vehicle shortly after as the fire blazed behind him, his helmet noticeably singed.

Tolga Bozoglu/AP
Part of Grosjean's car is lifted off the track after the crash at the start of the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix. Nov 29, 2020.Tolga Bozoglu/AP

Footage of the race showed the driver stuck inside the flaming vehicle for almost 10 seconds.

Safety officials reached the car immediately but with Grosjean still trapped inside.

After managing to find a way out, he could be seen jumping through the flames and held on to a boiling metal barrier to jump over it into the track, shaking his hands in pain before being helped by the stewards.

Grosjean was pictured moments later chatting with the race doctor in the medical car.

When the driver was helped into an ambulance he had a slight limp and looked shaken, but did not appear gravely injured.

"Romain is doing okay, I don't want to make a medical comment but he had light burns on his hands and ankles. Obviously, he's shaken... I want to thank the rescue crews who are very quick. The marshals and FIA people they did a great job, it was scary," Guenther Steiner, team principal of the Haas Formula 1 Team said.

Sports journalists covering the race praised said the driver walking away from the crash with his life was a tribute to the advances that had been made in safety within the sport.

"Thank you to Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe, the circuit medical team and marshals for their quick thinking and actions in getting to Romain so soon after the accident," Haas tweeted after the accident.

Viewers who were watching the race took to social media to express their shock and enquire after Grosjean's wellbeing following the shocking crash.

"Oh my gosh was in total tears here haven’t stopped shaking yet," one person wrote on Twitter.

"That was terrifying. Looking at the charred remains of the front of that Haas and so thankful that Grosjean was able to get out somehow. Far out. A relief to see him on his feet after that. Hope he’s okay," wrote another.