Gene Haas Was Supposed To Aid Romain Grosjean In His IndyCar Switch, But He Changed His Mind

Shloke Sarkar

Haas F1 team owner and namesake Gene Haas was supposedly set to sponsor Romain Grosjean’s IndyCar ride that is until the Frenchman’s near-fatal accident during the Bahrain Grand Prix which saw the driver escape with burns to his hands.

The crash could have been a lot more fatal, considering that it ripped the car into two and got stuck in a guardrail on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This led to the driver leaving the world of F1 without any final goodbye since he could not compete in the last two races of the season.

At the point of his crash, Haas announced that both of its 2020 drivers would be departing in favour of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, with Grosjean working on a deal to switch over to IndyCar.

Recently, Haas came out and admitted that he was prepping to help Grosjean in his move, but he ended up changing his mind post the near fatal accident.

“He had asked if we would be willing to sponsor him in IndyCar, and I think at the beginning I was pretty open to it,” Haas told RACER. “But then when he crashed in Bahrain, I was just so happy he didn’t kill himself.

For someone who has just absolutely destroyed the car, I couldn’t be happier that he survived it. “I don’t know… he has a wife and three kids, and I just told him I couldn’t see giving him money to go out and kill himself. I just felt like he needs to stay home and take care of his family. He escaped the big one there.

If you really understood what happened there… if that car had been a few degrees one way or the other, he wouldn’t have been able to get out through that hoop, and he would have died. So, extremely lucky.

“And the team was extremely lucky. I just could not fathom having to face a widow or his kids. I just couldn’t do that. So I said ‘Nah, stay home, I can’t help you there anymore’.”

Haas did mention however that he was surprised that Romain would be continuing with his plan, which finalised into a deal with Dale Coyne Racing, but mentioned that his shock at the crash had rattled the team owner.

Haas said he is not surprised that Romain Grosjean continued with his plans to switch to IndyCar, which ultimately led to a deal with Dale Coyne Racing, but conceded that his own shock at the violence of the crash rattled him.

“You know, Grosjean’s a heck of a driver,” Haas said. “He has some really good days when I think he’s probably as good as any driver out there.

He loves driving, and that’s his choice. I just don’t want to be part of the bad choice. I feel as lucky as he is to escape being killed. That was the luckiest day in the whole Haas F1 saga, that Grosjean managed to survive that, and relatively unscathed.

“It wasn’t so terrifying in the fact that he jumped out, but the hoop was stuck between the guardrails. If that hoop was a little bit smaller then his helmet wouldn’t have fit through it and he would have died.

He came very close. So I’m very happy. That was probably the happiest day in racing, was to see him jump out of that car.”

Also Read: Mika Salo Says Ferrari Comments A Joke

Next Post

Lewis Hamilton: "As long as I have air in my lungs, I will continue to fight for change in everything I do."

Lewis Hamilton has asked the penultimate question of “what’s next” in his fight for equality into 2021, complete with a daring declaration that had the Briton saying: “As long as I have air in my lungs, I will continue to fight for change in everything I do.” The seven-time Formula […]