The US open-wheel IndyCar Series is planning to analyse the official FIA report on Romain Grosjean’s horrific accident in the Bahrain Grand Prix to see what lessons it can learn to improve its own safety standards.
Grosjean crashed at the start of last November’s race, the car spitting in half and catching on fire after plunging nose-first into a steel barrier.
The Frenchman survived the impact and was able to leap away form the inferno with the help of track marshals and the FIA medical car team. He’s continuing his recovery from burns to the hands at home in Switzerland.
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Grosjean credited the new Halo cockpit protection device for his miraculous escape. He had previously been a sceptic of the Halo being made mandatory in 2018 but now said he was a complete convert.
IndyCar doesn’t use the Halo, having opted instead for an Aeroscreen developed by Red Bull Advanced Technology. This will now be reviewed once the FIA releases its detailed report into Grosjean’s accident.
“We’ll go through this and standardise some things,” IndyCar president Jaye Frye told RACER magazine. “Our system is different than theirs, but there’s a lot of similar things that can carry over.
“We all saw what happened with him, and what’s the result? Well the result was what you want, and the driver was okay.
“Obviously it was a big incident, so we were already looking at some quick disconnect options on a few things.
“When we get the report – the findings – on the F1 crash, we’ll also see if there’s anything in there we could do better, do differently with our frame and screen.
Overall, Fry felt that the Aeroscreen had done a good job and already proven its value in its first season in IndyCar.
“Throughout the course of the year there were a few incidents that certainly came into play that had the positive results that we will always want, which was the drivers walked away,” he said.
“Overall you don’t get too loud when something does its job like the Aeroscreen did,” he added. “That’s what it’s there for.
“But it was a real success that a lot of people were part of, and we’re really proud of it.”
Grosjean himself had been eyeing a switch to IndyCar after losing his seat with the Haas F1 Team at the end of 2020. However those plans are now on hold as he reviews his long-term future in the wake of the accident and his miraculous escape.
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