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Miracle in Bahrain
It sounds like the most unlikely title of a Christmas story, but as the holiday season approaches, Formula 1 may just have seen something close to a festive miracle, at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
As the Paddock arrived in the Sakhir for the first of three weekends in the desert, Romain Grosjean in particular, will be counting his many many blessings.
A no less frenzied race to Turn 1 of any circuit, what followed this past Sunday, will be moments etched into the memories of F1 fans across the globe.
As the red flag was rapidly waved in urgency, gasps could have been heard around the world.
Worst fears would have surely have gripped all those witnessing the horrors before them, so to see Grosjean being attended to by medics and – on the face of it at least – very much okay minutes after, was a sight for sore eyes to say the least.
The fallout of the crash has told a very visceral tale of the fortune that had befallen the Frenchman, as he clambered out from through the barriers and to safety from the lapping flames.
With the practice crash-drills every single driver in F1 undertakes before stepping foot into a car, perhaps the tales may be ever-so-slightly the sensational.
But when you look at the mangled wreck of Grosjean’s car, the dramatic pictures of the crash and the destroyed metal wall that could have ended his life, it is hard not to feel a sense that Bahrain was home to a real sporting miracle this weekend.
Stark reality check
Sunday’s race was a brutal reminder of the realities and indeed dangers of F1.
Yes, the sport is more sanitised than ever in the hybrid era, but racing remains perilous, even if that side is often hidden in plain sight.
It was no less true of the Medical car team, that each weekend are tasked with the safety of drivers on race weekend.
Both Dr Ian Roberts and Alan van der Merwe have received plaudits for their swift actions in rescuing Grosjean, and the former’s words in particular that he’d “never seen fire like that” were extremely telling.
As F1 resumes swiftly this weekend, Grosjean will be nothing more than a spectator with Pietro Fittipaldi set to stand in.
Regardless, after a particularly harrowing weekend, Bahrain 2020 will take some time to shift from the mind.
Mercifully however, there were more ‘what ifs’, than ‘what dids’.
The Sakhir Grand Prix takes place at the Sakhir International Circuit, this weekend in Bahrain.
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