Romain Grosjean has been ruled out of the Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi after electing to travel home for treatment on the burns to his hands.
Grosjean was left with burns to his hands after a terrifying crash on the opening lap of last Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, escaping from a large fire that followed a collision with the barrier at Turn 3 recording more than 50G.
Grosjean was ruled out of this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix on Monday, but remained hopeful that he could race in Abu Dhabi and make his final appearance for Haas ahead of his departure.
But in a statement issued shortly before Sunday’s second Bahrain race, Haas announced that Grosjean would not be racing in Abu Dhabi, but will instead return home to Switzerland to continue treatment for his injuries.
Reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will once again stand in for Grosjean at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“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.”
Grosjean has already said that he would like to complete a private F1 test at the earliest opportunity to ensure his time in the series does not end with his accident.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Saturday that he would be willing to accommodate such a test should no other team be working with Grosjean.
“I’m naturally very sorry that Romain will miss what was going to be his final race with Haas,” said Haas team boss Gunther 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.”
Grosjean joined Haas for its debut F1 season in 2016, with this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix set to be the team’s first race where the Frenchman is not in one of his cars.
The team announced in October that Grosjean would be leaving after five years, making way for an all-rookie line-up of Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher in 2021.
“Romain believed in our Formula 1 project at the very start, he committed to drive for us before we’d even built a car,” Steiner said.
“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.”