Crash victim Grosjean to miss Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - team

Sakhir (Bahrain) (AFP) –


Romain Grosjean is returning home to Switzerland for treatment on the burns he suffered from his fireball crash in Bahrain and will miss the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his Haas team announced on Sunday.

Next week's race at Yas Marina was to have been the Frenchman's last for the team.

"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.

"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 in Abu Dhabi."

Grosjean said the decision not to race in Abu Dhabi was one of the hardest "of my life".

"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.

"I will miss the team, but I will be supporting them as ever.”

On Saturday Grosjean sat in a Haas car for the first time since extricating himself from the blaze that engulfed him on the opening lap of last Sunday's race.

Grosjean's car split in half in a 245 kph impact with the barriers in one of the most dramatic incidents in the recent history of Formula One.

He has said he "saw death too closely" in the crash, telling AFP in an interview on Wednesday: "I thought: 'It can't end like this, not now'. I tried to get out again, but I couldn't, so I sat down and I saw death, not close up, but from too close... It's a feeling that I wish on no one."

The drivers are competing in Bahrain for the second week in a row with the Sakhir Grand Prix to take place in the kingdom later Sunday.

Reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of double Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi, is replacing the 34-year-old Frenchman this weekend.