“Never Thought We Would Have Laughed at That” – F1 Medical Car Driver on Romain Grosjean’s Horrific Crash

Published 10/31/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – DECEMBER 05: Romain Grosjean of France and Haas F1 walks in the Paddock with his wife Marion before last practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit on December 05, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Formula One witnessed one of the most surreal accidents in the sport’s history last year in Bahrain. Romain Grosjean’s car caught fire after his car collided with the barriers and was split in half. He got out unharmed with the help of Alan van der Merwe and Dr. Ian Roberts, who were quick to help him.

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Van Der Merwe is the medical car driver in F1, while Roberts is the medical Rescue Coordinator. They both helped to ensure that they were quickly present at the spot of the incident and helped the Haas driver instantly.

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Alan van der Merwe recalls the Romain Grosjean crash

Both van der Merwe and Roberts were guests at the Fast Lane Postcast. They described their job to the listeners and Alan mentioned that Grosjean’s accident was an amalgamation of all the worst-case scenarios.

“A lot of people think we are trained for what we do. But there is no training for what we do. We train ourselves. You touched on it before that Formula One’s safety is always evolving and so by definition our job is always evolving.” said van der Merwe.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – APRIL 08: FIA Safety Car driver Alan van der Merwe and FIA Doctor Ian Robertson walk in the Paddock before the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 8, 2018, in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

” It’s not a constant. From one year to the next, we can have new scenarios that we never thought of. Ian described how we go through a checklist of what if a car’s on its roof, what if it’s on its side, what if it’s on fire?

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Who would have thought that we would have mashed all of those scenarios together into one when we got to Romain. You know it’s we never thought we would have laughed at that. And we turned up and literally all the worst scenarios we can imagine happened at once.” said the Medical car driver.

Grosjean’s accident was a freak one and both van der Merwe and Roberts showed great bravery at the time. Later on, Romain Grosjean personally thanked both of them for saving his life.

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From the aforementioned breakdown, it is clear that both van der Merwe and Roberts made sure to be present mentally in order to avert disaster in Bahrain.

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Devang Chauhan

567 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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