Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Vettel “tried not to look” at video of Grosjean’s crash

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Sebastian Vettel admitted it was difficult for him to get back into his car after seeing Romain Grosjean’s crash at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The race was stopped for almost an hour and a half while the crash scene was cleared and barriers repaired after the Haas driver’s huge shunt at turn three. Vettel said he repeatedly asked his team about Grosjean’s condition after the race was red-flagged.

“First I didn’t understand. Then obviously I saw the fire and then I was asking all of the time if he’s out and they said they don’t know. And that was a bad feeling.

“Obviously once I jumped out of the car and I realised he’s out that’s the main message of the day. I hope he’s as good as he can be. I don’t know how he managed to get out because the car seemed to catch fire immediately.

“It wasn’t easy to get back in but I think it was probably best to get straight back in rather than wait for a week.”

Footage of the crash was shown repeatedly in coverage of the race during the break. Vettel said he tried not to watch it.

“People like to see this stuff, I guess, otherwise the director or whoever wouldn’t show it again and again and again. People like crashes and maybe sometimes they forget that we are behind the wheel. So I guess you could say it’s part of the show. So that’s why I disappeared and tried not to look at the images too much.”

The Ferrari driver said he was concerned to see Grosjean’s car penetrate the barrier and catch fire.

“It shouldn’t happen. The guardrail is there to deviate the car. I don’t know why it failed in that fashion and I don’t know why the car took fire straight away. It seems as if the guardrail was the cause. So I think there’s a lot of understanding to be done.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

11 comments on “Vettel “tried not to look” at video of Grosjean’s crash”

  1. And vettel crying on the radio complaining about Leclerc after he does a clean pass on him. Vettel hates it when his teammates aren’t number 2 wingman’s.

    1. Absolutely no proof to backup your talk. In 2018 Germany, when VET still had some real chances at the WDC (although 2nd chance!), he spent quite a number of laps behind a slower RAI, losing time of course… and nobody from the team intervened between them. Same thing in France. So, really, at Ferrari things were more equal between their drivers than at Mercedes. Even more proof, it’s the 7-time WDC from Mercedes who still owes 1 win to his team mate!

  2. I don’t think it’s fair to say “People like to see this stuff, I guess, otherwise the director or whoever wouldn’t show it again and again and again. People like crashes and maybe sometimes they forget that we are behind the wheel. So I guess you could say it’s part of the show.”

    I think a lot of people think they like dangerous crashes happens. I think the truth is we like the little prangs that knock a wing off, or break the suspension, and until we’ve experienced a life threatening crash, we assume that the bigger the crash the more we will enjoy it. Maybe Vettel is entirely accurate here, but if so, there needs to be a different word for life threatening crashes.

    It reminds me of video games. People who don’t understand video games don’t understand why anyone would play a game that isn’t fun. There is a game called Papers Please, and I won’t get into what it’s about – that’s a google away – but it is most definitely not fun in any way. So why is it so popular – because it’s thought provoking, it can show you that you are not immune to a human condition that you thought you might well be.

    I don’t think the director put the replays up to “entertain” us, nor do I think that many of us were “enjoying” seeing them. That in no way means that it wasn’t important to show, and it is not in any way indicative that the people watching them were doing so for entertainment, the show or enjoyment.

    1. *I think a lot of people think they like dangerous crashes **until it** happens.

    2. As much as I don’t want to see drivers die/get seriously injured, today was some of the ‘best’ television I have ever watched. The horror crash, the suspense of if he’s alive or not, the shot of him escaping from that enormous ball of fire. A Hollywood film couldn’t have scripted this better. I’m a minority on this site, but a lot of casual fans are watching F1 because of the danger and the risk of someone dying. There’s a reason Rome gave it’s people bread and games.

      1. I see what you’re saying, but I honestly think you just agreed with me! You didn’t enjoy this because it showed a big crash – you say yourself that you don’t want to see the death or injury – you found value in watching a very real person, not an actor in a moment of very real extreme danger, and you watched him overcome the odds in a dramatic way – that’s not you enjoying a crash, because you could have watched that exact same crash and not enjoyed it if the outcome was different. Does that make much sense? (Sorry, I struggle with the small moments in English, so I find it hard to explain in the right worlds exactly what i mean)

  3. You could say that the very fact that the accident was being shown over and over again was a positive thing. If Grosjean had been seriously injured or worse, the directors probably wouldn’t have shown it at all.

    1. Exactly. Obviously Seb did not know what we knew, that Roman was actually ‘ok’. When the horrific crash with Jules happened, there were no replays.

  4. I was glad for the footage as it allowed me to explain to my household more about motorsport and also understand better about how Grosjean actually survived, we then discussed what he could’ve been thinking? The effect this event will have on him? The post event investigation? The changes that may come because of the incident? Etc

    I don’t take for granted that the drivers out their are risking their lives for basically entertainment and I think for some of the drivers that may not have experienced anything similar to this is that it’s a harsh reminder the risk they take.

  5. to be fair with the TV director, the didn’t show the replay until they had a shot of Romain out of his car, into the medical car. to show it over and over again, AFTER we were sure he was ok, is a testament of how much FIA has done into the safety of the cars. And FWIW, i think that Romain would be dead right now if it wasn’t a HALO on his car.

  6. It is easy, to avoid the risks stop driving a race car. Good thing, they will probably take a good look at the guard rail construction.

Comments are closed.