FIA Explains Investigation Process into Romain Grosjean’s Accident

Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) have explained their investigation process into Romain Grosjean’s crash during 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend. 

Grosjean suffered a huge crash on the exit of Turn Three in Sunday’s Bahrain GP, which saw his Haas penetrate the Armco barriers, ripping his car in two with the front half ploughing through the barriers and exploding into a fireball.

Grosjean miraculously escaped from the wreckage with only minor burns to his ankles and back of his hands which requires ongoing treatment at present, as the Frenchman yesterday congratulated Mick Schumacher on securing a Haas seat for 2021 via Twitter.

FIA have since announced that an investigation is underway looking at various areas including protective clothing, HANS (Head and Neck System) and the survival cell.

Others areas of analysis will focus on integrity of the chassis and safety barrier performance for an high energy impact of 140mph or higher alongside the role of track marshals and medical intervention team in preventing a fatality.

FIA will also hold discussions with F1 promoter of Bahrain GP, Haas and Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) of who have already been contacted for their input on improvements and events surrounding the crash.

FIA Safety Director, Adam Baker has confirmed that the investigation “has already begun” with the team taking this case “very seriously” whilst following “rigorous process to find out exactly what happened before proposing potential improvements.”

In a statement on their official website, the FIA iterated that data will be key to the investigation, saying; ‘ Data collection will be at the heart of this investigation and in Formula 1 there is more data instrumentation than in any other championship.’

A team of investigators will also be focusing on video streams from various cameras with the FIA saying; ‘FIA researchers will be able to gather data from the various video streams, including a High Speed Camera which faces the driver and films at 400 frames per-second to reveal in slow motion what happens to him during the accident.’

Data will also be gathered from an Accident Data Recorder which is situated within individual cars in case of any accidents with the aim of discovering the speed and forces which were on the car at time of the accident, whilst in-ear accelerometers which measure movement of the driver’s head in a crash and are put inside the ear canal of all drivers will also be analysed.

Once the data has been collected and analysed, the information will be placed within the FIA World Accident Database, bringing together valuable data from accidents around the work throughout motorsport from karting all the way up to F1, allowing researchers to study individual accidents and statistics can be used to identify frequent risks and prioritise future research projects.

FIA President, Jean Todt plus members of the FIA Serious Accident Study Group (SASG) will then analyse Grosjean’s accident alongside FIA Safety Department staff and sporting department heads to ensure that all areas across motorsport are represented with analysis from technical, operational and medical perspectives with measures then taken forward.

SASG will also work in conjunction with the FIA Research Working Group (RWG) containing various engineers and medical experts to review ongoing research into new safety devices and accident investigations which are conducted by the FIA

Once the RWG complete their investigation, an extraordinary meeting of FIA Safety Commission will take place with ex Williams Engineering Director, Sir Patrick Head chairing discussions, of which eventual findings are put to the World Motor Sport Council who will deliver an ultimate ruling.

There is also a possibility that the case could be put forward to members of FIA Driver Commission for additional input to be added to the investigation.

It is expected that the investigation will last between six to eight weeks with findings being made public upon completion of the investigation.

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