Dubai: The Bahrain International Circuit paddock was witness to heartwarming scenes the other day when Formula One driver Romain Grosjean, who had a miraculous escape from a fiery crash during the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, returned to the track to thank his rescuers.
One of the members of the safety team who aided his rescue was Joby Mathew, a native of Ranni in Pathanamthitta district.
Joby, a member of the Bahrain Civil Defence team, along with Bahraini marshal Thaer Ali Taher, were the first two firefighters who rushed to the spot.
“Thank you for saving my life. Your reaction, your attitude – I saw the video – your awareness of where I was in the car, I don’t know how you got it, it must be in you, but thank you for saving my life,” the Haas driver told the duo.
As a token of gratitude, the Frenchman gifted autographed miniature replica helmets to them.
The accident occurred on the opening lap of the race, when Grosjean veered across the spot between turns 3 and 4. His car speared through the protective barriers lining the track with a force of 53G. In the impact, the car split into two and burst into a ball of flame. The 34-year-old spent about 15 seconds in his burning car before being rescued by firefighters and the Medical Car crew.
He suffered burns to his hands and extensive bruising but was otherwise unhurt in the accident.
Grosjean also met with the FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi, the ambulance driver who took him to hospital, medical personnel and other safety team members and thanked them.