Romain Grosjean has decided to return home to Switzerland to continue his medical treatment for the burns he suffered in his big crash at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, meaning he will miss the 2020 finale in Abu Dhabi in what would have been his final F1 race for Haas.
The team’s reserve Pietro Fittipaldi, who is standing in for Grosjean for this weekend’s Sakhir GP, will once again take the wheel alongside team mate Kevin Magnussen at Yas Marina.
Grosjean had hoped to compete in Abu Dhabi, the Frenchman keen to cross the line one more time in F1, and has been in the gym since leaving hospital but when he opened up to media earlier in the week, it was clear he was not prepared to do so if it risked his long-term health.
“It is with great sadness that I will not be able to do my final race in Abu Dhabi and be with the team there,” said Grosjean. “We’ve tried as much as we could with the doctor to recover and to repair my hand, but the risk of racing is too big for my recovery and my health.
“So, the decision was made that I’m not going to race. It’s one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it’s obviously one of the wisest. I will miss the team, but I will be supporting them as ever.”
That means Bahrain will be his last Grand Prix, in what was his 98th appearance for American team Haas having been with them since the beginning of their F1 project.
“I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas F1 Team,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “But we are all in agreement that he has to take the best course of action regarding his treatment and recovery from last Sunday’s incident.
“Romain has shown exceptional bravery and amazing spirit over the last few days – we know how badly he wanted to be able to return to the cockpit of the VF-20 in Abu Dhabi. And we all would have loved him to have been there too.”
Steiner praised the work Grosjean has done for the team, the Frenchman having scored their first points on debut and been a key part in their development.
“Romain believed in our Formula 1 project at the very start, he committed to drive for us before we’d even built a car,” he added. “There is no doubting the determination and sheer effort he has put into helping us to achieve what we have as a young team in Formula 1. We will forever be grateful for that belief and commitment.
“It is those qualities, his drive and ambition, that I’m sure will aid him on his recovery. On behalf of Gene Haas and myself, together with the whole Haas F1 Team operation, we wish Romain well and a return to full health.”