Haas Forced to Make Significant Changes to 2021 F1 Car Following Grosjean’s Horrid Accident

Published 03/06/2021, 5:30 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES-Pietro Fittipaldi of Brazil driving the (51) Haas F1 Team VF-20 Ferrari on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Hamad I Mohammed – Pool/Getty Images)


Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix became a subject of discussion for many reasons. Above all that, everyone was pleased to see the former Haas driver escape from the site of the crash and sustain only minor injuries.

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But in light of that incident and a report generated by the FIA following a detailed investigation, Haas have made some notable modifications to their VF-21 car. Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, team boss Guenther Steiner explained the changes.

He said, “I think the biggest one is the fuel hatch cannot be attached to the chassis anymore and we’re working on the headrest to make it smaller. The headrest is still there but in parts, so it cannot get stuck when it comes off.”

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You always learn out of these situations, said Haas team principal Steiner

“We changed because we think it is better to do it in a different way. You always learn out of these situations. Everything was within the regulations what happened, there was nothing wrong with our car.”

Replays showed that the impact of the collision into the barriers was such that the Frenchman’s car split into two pieces in a matter of milliseconds. With drivers’ safety of paramount importance in motorsport, Steiner believes that it is best to keep up with the times.

Romain Grosjean of France and Haas F1 looks on as drivers line up on the grid for a photo prior to day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“It never happened before and what happened [was] some very strange incident to rip off half of the chassis at the back. If there is a better solution we should try to adapt to them all of the time. As I said, you always learn and you always need to stay up with the times.”

The American outfit have a new pairing to drive their 2021 challenger

Grosjean was anyway due to leave F1 after last year’s Abu Dhabi GP. However, it was a shame that he could not properly bid farewell to the sport he gave so much of his life to. After three months of recovery, though, Grosjean is back driving for Dale Coyne Racing in the 2021 IndyCar season.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – New Haas’ driver Mick Schumacher tests the car during practice Giuseppe Cacace/Pool via REUTERS

Meanwhile, Haas elected to release both their incumbents and bring in a fresh rookie duo to take to their cars; Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin now have the responsibility of taking Haas further up the grid than last year.

Therefore, new times are in store for both Grosjean and Haas F1. However, they will both forever remember that massive crash as a very important learning experience.

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MORE – Haas F1 Under Scrutiny Over Russian Flag Livery on 2021 Car

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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