F1 driver Romain Grosjean has escaped a shocking crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix with minor burns and suspected broken ribs, after a ferocious impact that saw his race car break in half.
His HAAS F1 car pierced a steel barrier before snapping into two pieces and erupting into a huge fireball.
"My God," exclaimed Sky Sports pundit and former racer Martin Brundle. "It's torn the car in half!"
A secondary barrier caught the car as Grosjean tripped over Daniel Kvyat during the first lap and fired hard off the track.
The front half of the car skewered through the barrier and the rear end separated completely.
The F1 safety teams were directly on the spot, as the medical and safety cars follow the pack away from the start on the first lap.
Grosjean hopped out of the car unaided, and was helped over the barriers by F1 medical crews.
The race was red-flagged, and restarted after the barrier was repaired.
While it was controversial at the time of its launch at the beginning of the 2019 season, there is no doubt that the car's halo safety bar, which sits above the car, saved Grosjean's life.
A short statement from his team said "Romain has some minor burns on his hands and ankles but otherwise he is okay. He is with the doctors just now."
The team later added that the Frenchman was being taken to hospital with a suspected broken rib(s), while the FIA confirmed Grosjean was conscious throughout the incident.
Haas has since uploaded a photo of the driver in a stable, and smiling, condition.
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