F1 driver Romain Grosjean suffers minor burns and has one or more suspected broken ribs after surviving high-speed crash and fireball blaze in Bahrain Grand Prix.

Staff extinguishes flames from Romain Grosjean's car after a crash during F1 race in Bahrain on November 29, 2020.
Staff extinguishes flames from Romain Grosjean's car after a crash during F1 race in Bahrain on November 29, 2020. (AP)

Formula One driver Romain Grosjean has escaped with burns after his car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old French driver slid off the track on the first lap on Sunday and his Haas car burst into flames after being sliced in two by a barrier. 

Grosjean clambered out with the fire roaring behind him and his race helmet singed.

He was stuck inside the flaming wreck for nearly 10 seconds before somehow finding a way out. 

The race footage showed safety officials reaching the car immediately but with Grosjean still trapped inside.

Grosjean smashes through barrier, limps away

The impact was measured at over 50G, according to a spokesman for the sport's governing FIA.

"(Romain) is stable and being taken by helicopter to the BDF MC Military Hospital for further evaluation," the governing body said.

A spokesman for Grosjean's Haas team said the 34-year-old had suffered minor burns on his hands and ankles and had one or more suspected broken ribs.

Stewards delayed the race for at least 45 minutes with a 10-minute warning before resumption, as track workers carried out repairs to the barriers.

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Extraordinary escape

He managed to find a way out and jumped through the flames and gripped the boiling hot metal barrier as he jumped over back onto the track, shaking his hands in agony before being helped by the stewards.

Moments later, Grosjean was shown on television chatting with the race doctor in the medical car.

Grosjean was then helped out of the car and into an ambulance. He appeared to be shaken but did not immediately seem injured other than a slight limp.

Drivers and team members stood and applauded as they saw the images of Grosjean climbing over the barrier to safety and being sprayed with a fire extinguisher.

It appeared an extraordinary escape after his car was sliced in half upon impact with the barrier.

The accident happened when Grosjean lost grip and slid to the right, where his back wheel clipped the front of Daniil Kvyat's Alpha-Tauri and he flew off into the barrier.

Grosjean's teammate Kevin Magnussen looked distressed when he saw the footage as drivers waited in the paddock for the race to restart, while officials returned to the site of the crash to pick up debris littered around the destroyed car.

Source: AP