Teams’ reactions after the Bahrain Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

Today's Bahrain Grand Prix was another testament of what a fantastic work Formula One and the FIA have done over the years to improve safety in the sport.

Although Lewis Hamilton scored another dominant victory with his quickest car, the race result has become secondary following Romain Grosjean's horrible crash. The Frenchman was involved in a clash with Daniil Kvyat at the start and fortunately escaped with only minor injuries from a terrible accident in which his car was cut in two pieces and the survival cell of his Haas went through a barrier and caught fire.

Thanks to the halo, the car’s survival cell, the speedy reaction from the marshals and the immediate intervention of the Medical Car crew, the Swiss-born race driver only suffered light burns on his hands and his ankles, and he is now recovering in a hospital of Bahrain's capital Manama.


Lewis Hamilton, 1st

"Today is a reminder for all of us that this is a dangerous sport. It was shocking to see Romain's accident and I'm just so grateful that the halo did its job and credit to the FIA medical team who were straight on the scene. For Romain to be able to walk away from an accident like that just shows what an incredible job F1 and the FIA have done in their quest for safety. Physically it was such a demanding race. Max pushed me all the way and he had a lot of speed today. I was struggling a little bit with the car sliding around, but I just had enough to be able to respond to Max's quick laps when it mattered. I was a little cautious how it would play out at the end of the race once Max pitted, but I'm so thankful to my team because they made the right calls all day on the strategy. What a privilege it is to be able to get another result like this."

Valtteri Bottas, 8th

"I'm so glad that Romain is okay - that's really the most important thing today and I'm very relieved he was able to escape such a big accident. I had a puncture at the restart of the race; I don't think there was any contact and I didn't see any debris either, so I'm not quite sure what caused it. I tried fighting my way through the field, but we had a bigger wing than most of the others, so it wasn't easy to get through the train of cars. At the very end, I had yet another puncture, but fortunately that was under the Safety Car and I didn't lose any more positions. I'll need to look at what I can do better next week; the track layout will be different, but a lot of the characteristics will also stay the same, so there's certainly a lot to learn from this week. Hopefully, I'll have better luck next weekend."

Red Bull

Max Verstappen, 2nd

“It was of course a big shock to see the flames at the start of the race and you know it is bad when there is fire like that. We were all relieved that Romain was able to get out of the car himself and that any injuries were treatable and I hope he recovers quickly. It’s not nice to see those things happen but fortunately the safety is incredible with the suits and the halo really saved his life today by pushing the guard rail up over his head. In the race I tried everything I could to stay with Lewis and there wasn’t much left to give but unfortunately we were just a bit too slow. I think we could maybe have put Mercedes under a bit more pressure but overall I think second is where we belong today with the pace of the car. A double podium is a great result for the Team and well done to Alex as I am pleased for him. The car seems to be working well here so we’ll see how next weekend goes on the different layout but hopefully we can find a bit more pace and get everything that’s possible.”

Alex Albon, 3rd

“Of course there’s a bit of luck involved today and Sergio drove a good race but we were there to capitalise on anything happening ahead and that’s exactly what we did so I’m really happy. The Team told me Sergio might have an engine issue and my first thought was if he’s dropping oil, I don’t want to be the first car behind him so I stayed off-line just in case and fortunately everything worked out. Considering the car damage we had on Friday, the guys did an amazing job to get everything ready for Saturday and it’s nice to repay them in this way. It’s been a good weekend for me pace wise and I’m happy with how it turned out. I feel like the last few races have been getting better and results just haven’t shown that but we’ve taken another step forward this weekend and I’m pleased. Next week we’re racing on a different layout but it’s a pretty similar circuit so hopefully we can expect more of the same. Like everyone in the paddock I was also very relieved to see Romain walk away from the car after the accident, it was shocking to watch back and the safety team did an amazing job today.”

Racing Point

Sergio Perez, DNF

"It’s really hard for both myself and the team to take today’s result, but in the grand scheme of things, it almost becomes irrelevant after Romain’s crash at the start. At the end of the day, it’s either one more or one less podium or trophy for me, but the important thing is that Romain is still with us and that he’s ok. I wish him all the best. It was certainly hard to get back into the car after seeing something like that, but you just have to focus and prepare for the race. I think we executed a perfect race and the podium was definitely ours – it was going to be one of my best in Formula 1. It was gutting to retire with three laps left due to an MGU-K electrical issue. We were going to finish ahead of a Red Bull and a Mercedes, which is a great credit to all of us at the team, and we’d done such a good job all weekend too. We’ve lost out on some really important points today, which makes it a bit more difficult in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship battles, but the positive is that there are still two more races to make up for it.”

Lance Stroll, DNF

"I’m really happy that Romain was able to walk away from that crash as it was a scary one to see happen. I think all of us drivers in the pitlane had to stop for a second and reset before getting back into the car. I’m definitely thinking of him. For me, personally, I’m really frustrated by the race. We’ve scored two points since Monza and it’s been a series of incidents outside of my control that’s caused it. At one point this season we were P4 in the Drivers’ Championship and we’d had such a strong start to the year, so that makes the current situation all the more frustrating. I can’t say much about today’s incident, I was going through Turn 8 and was mid-corner when I was hit by Daniil [Kvyat] who came out of nowhere and connected with me. The crash looked worse than it was: I’m okay, and Daniil got a penalty. There’s no point thinking about what could have been today or in the previous events. We won’t dwell on it because there’s nothing we can do about it now. We need this run of bad luck to end and we’ll focus on coming back stronger next week and finishing the season on a high.”


Daniel Ricciardo, 7th

“Firstly, I’m glad Romain is okay after the incident. The result today does not matter so much after that and it’s a bit of an afterthought. To see him escape and walk away was a relief and I wish him the best in his recovery. That’s the main thing from today. In terms of our race, it certainly wasn’t what we wanted but we gave it our best and we still managed to score points. We’ll focus on next week when it comes, it’s still to play for in the championship and we’ll come back stronger.”

Esteban Ocon, 9th

“The first, and main thing, is the news of Romain [Grosjean] and I wish him a very fast recovery. It was a crazy incident. The team told me in the car that he was alright, but looking at the images, I struggled to believe it. It’s a miracle that he’s fine and I’m glad to hear he’s okay. Our race was secondary to that incident today. We have plenty to review from the race as the McLarens were a bit quicker than us. We’ll push on see what we can do next weekend on the shorter layout and try and claim some points back.”


Pierre Gasly, 6th

“The main thing about today is to see Romain walking away from that horrific crash at the start of the race. It was pretty shocking to see, but I’m really glad he’s ok and I wish him all the best for his recovery and hope to see him back very soon. Performance-wise, I’m really pleased with our job. We took a risky strategy - it was a gamble - but it paid off in the end. It was one of the toughest races and a lot of hard work inside the cockpit today, it was all about managing and pushing as hard as I could, without hurting the tyres too much and keep them alive for as many laps as possible. It gave me a pretty hard time in the cockpit, but we managed to get one of our best results of the year, so I’m really happy to make it back in the points and make the best out of this Sunday.”

Daniil Kvyat, 11th

“To finish P11 is super frustrating. On the opening lap, I was a bit angry at first with Romain for his move, but then I was just worried about him because I saw the flames and how bad the crash was - I was just hoping he was OK and fortunately it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Then on the race restart I had an incident with Stroll. I was fully on the inside of him and even if I think saw me he chose to turn in like I wasn’t there. I put my whole car on the inside of the kerb and there wasn’t much more I could have done. So, I don’t share the same view as the Stewards regarding my penalty. It’s a shame they took this decision because it ruined my race. I’m upset but nothing will change the outcome, unfortunately.”


Carlos Sainz, 5th

"First of all, the most important thing today is that Grosjean is okay. It was a massive relief to see him jump out of the car after such a scary accident. I think this is the hardest reminder of how dangerous motorsport is. Despite the incredible safety measures we have nowadays, our lives are still at risk every weekend when driving these beasts to the limit. This has to be respected. On the positive side, what happened today underlines the great job of Formula 1 and the FIA, in collaboration with the teams, to keep making the cars safer every year. I think no one will dare to criticise the halo, for example, after what we’ve seen tonight. Finally, I want to highlight the job of the marshals and our pit-crews. They may not drive the cars, but they are equally exposed to big risks and they are key to protect us all.

“From my side, another good comeback from P15 to P5! I managed to do a very strong first stint with the Soft tyre, overtaking a lot of people but at the same time making that tyre last. The second stint on the Medium was also very strong, and we were able to pass both Renaults and have good pace closing the gap to Lando. It was a great race and we managed to score a big amount of points for the team which is crucial for the championship standings.”

Lando Norris, 4th

“First of all, I’m glad to see that Romain wasn’t seriously injured. It was good to see him get out of the car and it proves how safe the sport has become thanks to the work done by F1 and the FIA along with the teams. Once again, the halo has proved that it saves lives, and I’m sure that we’ll learn even more from this accident and make the sport even safer. The bravery shown by the marshals and medical car crew was absolutely incredible as well.

“Otherwise, a very good race! First time I think we’ve had that in a long time. I think everything went pretty much perfectly for us. Both starts were really good which put us in a strong position ahead of the Renaults. That was all really! There wasn’t a lot more to the race. I know there was a lot of action, but I think we just had a good strategy and we did what we had to do. My race wasn’t boring, but it was quite straightforward and we stuck to our plan and focused on ourselves. That was all we wanted to do in the beginning and that’s what we did, so I’m happy it all paid off. Good points, fourth and fifth – one of our best results as a team. A good bounce back from yesterday.”


Sebastian Vettel, 13th

"Maybe the only good news of today is the one I received on the radio, confirming to me that Romain was okay. When we stopped in the pitlane and I jumped out of the car I saw the images and it was incredible how he was able to get out of his car. I have to admit I tried not to look at the images too much. Talking about my race, the first stint was very bad, I didn’t have the pace and I lost quite a lot of ground. The situation improved as the race went on and in free air in the end it was not that bad but all in all it was definitely a difficult race."

Charles Leclerc, 10th

"After Romain’s crash, I was feeling very bad. It was probably the first time I have felt like this during a race, because I was trying to keep someone behind me and so I saw what happened in my rear view mirrors and when I got to Turn 9 I saw the flames, so I was worrying and waiting for news about Romain. I was extremely happy when they told me he was okay, after what seemed like a very long time. Well done to everyone who works on making our cars safe. It’s impressive to see what an incredible job they’ve done! Once I knew Romain was okay I focused on the race again.

"It was a difficult one for us today, as we were really not quick enough. I had a very good start but unfortunately after that it was all uphill. P10 was the best we could achieve today. We have two more GPs ahead of us now and we’ll try to get the most out of them."

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen, 15th

“Like everyone, I am happy to see Romain being okay: nobody is used to seeing crashes like that in these days so it’s important to see he was able to walk away. Once the race restarts and you are in the car, though, you just focus on that: sadly my race was compromised early on as I got damage in both starts. I had a hit to the floor in the first start and then to the front wing and to the right side of the floor in the second and that took away a lot of performance. The car was quick in the first laps after the stops, but the damage made the pace fall off quickly. It’s a shame as the car felt pretty good on the way to the grid, but we weren’t able to make that potential pay off.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, 16th

“I was really relieved to see Romain walk away from that huge crash – seeing him get out of the car was the best thing of tonight. I hope his injuries are not too serious and he can be back with us soon. As for the race, I made a great start and made up a lot of positions before the red flag – I was 11th, but was brought back to P14 at the restart. The second launch wasn’t as good and after that I settled into a rhythm: our pace was quite good but I have a feeling our choices for the race didn’t pay off as well as we expected. We chose to stay out on the hard tyres and only stopped when the final safety car came out, but that didn’t work for us in the end. Time to shift our focus to next week and hope it goes better.”


Kevin Magnussen, 17th

"Firstly, I'm just very, very happy to see Romain walk away from that crash, it was unbelievable. To see him survive that is frankly a miracle. I'm so happy that the halo was introduced, and it was on his car. Without it I'm sure it would have been very different. That's really all from me today. I'm just happy that we've still got Romain."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

"We got fortunate today. The good news is that Romain is doing well considering what happened. We are thankful for all the safety advancements in modern Formula 1 in order to protect the drivers. We send a thank you to the FIA safety team and the marshals who were on-site immediately to help Romain get away from the scene. As I said, I think we got lucky, there's not a lot more to say. We hope Romain will recover quickly from the injuries he sustained."


George Russell, 12th

"I am pleased with the job we have done this weekend. I dropped places on the initial start but from the restart I came from P18 to P12, and in the race managed to keep Vettel behind us, whilst overtaking Giovinazzi, Magnussen plus fighting with Kvyat. I think it is a job we can be pleased with, and I think we can leave saying we got everything out of this weekend. It’s not a point but it is the maximum that we could do today.

"It is incredible that Romain walked away from the crash today. I am just pleased that he is okay and extremely thankful that we have the halo. I am proud of the work that the FIA and F1 have done for the safety over the recent years."

Nicholas Latifi, 14th

"The first start was very tricky but we got a much better start on the second one, and moved up a bit, but then I made a misjudgement whilst battling for position on the subsequent lap. Still, I am pretty pleased with the race. Tyre degradation was the big factor to manage and I think we did a good job. We had a strong strategy which meant I could achieve the target which was to get ahead of the Haas and the Alfa. Obviously, you always want more, there are some things that could have been better as it wasn’t an easy race out there, but I am pretty pleased with the result.

"I wish Romain a speedy recovery, you never like to see something like that, it just shows you that the risk is always there in motorsport."