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Sakhir Grand Prix: Mercedes open to Romain Grosjean test drive

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Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff’s Mercedes team have won the constructors’ title in each of the past seven seasons

Mercedes are prepared to give Romain Grosjean a test in one of their cars to close off his Formula 1 career.

The Frenchman is fighting to be fit to make a return at the season finale in Abu Dhabi next week after his fiery crash at the Bahrain race last weekend.

He says he does not want the accident to be the last time he drove an F1 car.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: “If we were allowed and nobody else in the universe of teams he has raced for will do it, we would do this.”

Grosjean has serious burns to his hands but is working to be in a condition to be able to drive again by Friday 13 December, which is first practice day at Abu Dhabi.

The 34-year-old has spent the last few days giving vivid and moving interviews about his experiences in the accident.

He has explained how, after realising the car was on fire, and at first failing to get out, he had a moment where his “body started to relax, I am in peace with myself, and I am going to die”. He then collected himself and decided he must get out of the car for the sake of his children.

Grosjean does not have a contract for next year and his racing future is uncertain.

“It’s been my life and when I finish my career in F1 I would like to cross the finish line,” he said. “I don’t really want it to finish in that way, even if the footage is not as dramatic.

“If it doesn’t happen, it’s OK, I will have other opportunities to cross the finish line in the future.

“The doctors say it is difficult to know [if I will be fit in time]. The strength and mobility gets better every day, there is still lot of swelling. This needs to start reducing.”

Grosjean said that doctors had not yet ruled out him needing skin graft on his left hand and he would not risk its future mobility just to drive in Abu Dhabi.

“The story would be beautiful,” he said. “But if I don’t I will call every F1 test and see if they will give me a private test and have 10-15 laps in the car just for me.”

He admitted his family were not keen on him racing in Abu Dhabi, but said: “The first video call I did with my dad and wife and kids, I said, ‘I will race in Abu Dhabi’ – and you can imagine their reactions.

“They weren’t very impressed with me. I don’t blame them and I will always understand they won’t accept but I said, ‘It is very selfish but it is what I need and I want to do.'”

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