Romain Grosjean will drive a Mercedes on a one-off return to Formula 1 following his fiery accident in a Haas at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

F1 driver Romain Grosjean says he can now play with his kids after his horror crash
Romain Grosjean is to drive a Mercedes on a one-off return to Formula 1 following his fiery accident at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean will do a demonstration run in Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 W10 at the French Grand Prix on 27 June, and a test at the same track two days later.
The Frenchman said getting back in an F1 car was “a special opportunity”.
The move honours a pledge made by team boss Toto Wolff as it became clear the crash would end Grosjean’s F1 career.
“I didn’t want to finish on that crash,” Grosjean told BBC Breakfast.
“While I was in the hospital, I read that Toto Wolff said he was happy to give me a day in the car if I could make it back.
“When I was in my hospital bed in pain, I cherished that a lot and I’m very thankful and grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s rare you get the chance to drive a world champion Formula 1 car for fun and for pleasure – that’s going to be super cool.”
Grosjean was in the inferno for several seconds before he managed to extricate himself
The 35-year-old suffered serious burns to his hands when his Haas car split the crash barrier in Bahrain, but has recovered full fitness and has switched to the US-based IndyCar series this year.
Grosjean said the thought of his three children potentially growing up without a father gave him an “extra piece of power and energy to jump out” of the car.
“I was well aware that my hands were burning and I knew it was get out or die but I managed to get out and since then I’m very happy nowadays,” he added.
“I worked very quickly after the crash with my psychologist and when I jumped back in a racing car, it felt normal; I felt home.
“The most important thing is I can play with my kids, I can cuddle them and I can drive a racing car.”
He added that doing the test in his home country, at a track where last year’s French Grand Prix had to be cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, would be a “very special day”, with a limited number of fans set to attend.
“It’s a good way to say goodbye to my fans. it’ll be a beautiful experience and I’m very lucky to have it.”
Grosjean will test the car at his home track in France
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said: “We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity. The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in F1 and we didn’t want his accident to be his last moment in an F1 car.
“Romain’s accident remains us of the dangers these guys face each time they climb into the cockpit, but it’s also a testament to the incredible steps this sport has taken to improve safety over the year. I know the F1 community will celebrate seeing Romain back on track.”
Hamilton said: “I’m really happy to see Romain back in an F1 car after his accident last year.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him again in France and welcoming him to the team for the weekend – although he better look after my W10!”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff (left) is said to be behind this “special opportunity”.