Thursday's Formula 1 news roundup

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Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Thursday, December 3.

Thursday morning’s Formula 1 news roundup

Adrian Newey pictured in July 2017© Reuters

New reports suggest Aston Martin is making a big-money bid to lure famous F1 designer Adrian Newey from Red Bull.

We first reported the rumour in September, but Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko told Sport1: “Adrian is definitely under contract with us.

“Adrian was recently able to test a rare Aston Martin and he thanked (Lawrence) Stroll for it. There’s nothing more.”

However, Italy’s authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport is now reviving the rumour, which if true would reunite Newey with Sebastian Vettel, who won all four of his titles in Newey-penned Red Bulls.

The same Italian newspaper also claims that Aston Martin – currently called Racing Point and coloured pink – will have a special livery in Bahrain or China next year to promote the new James Bond film ‘No Time To Die’.

Aston Martin and the James Bond franchise, of course, enjoy an iconic relationship.

Romain Grosjean is helped away after his horror crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29, 2020© Reuters

Romain Grosjean has all but admitted he was to blame for his fiery crash in Bahrain last Sunday.

“It went too fast but I didn’t know I had touched Kvyat,” the Frenchman, who left hospital on Wednesday with minor injuries – the worst of which is his burned left hand – told French media.

“I didn’t see him,” Grosjean explained.

“I am annoyed to have cut him off but he was in my blind spot from the exit of turn 1. I looked twice in the mirror because I came out of the corner faster than the others.

“There was debris on the left so I put myself on the right. For me, there was nobody there. It was a light touch but then there was the impact with the barrier which didn’t feel violent. I closed my eyes.”

Almost instantly, upon realising he could not easily pull himself from the fire, he recalls with clarity thinking that “I will end up like Niki Lauda”.

“It was all orange, which was so strange, but I understood that it was burning when the plastic of my tear-off caught fire.

“I tried to get out but I couldn’t, so I told myself that it’s not possible – I cannot end up like this. I tried again and was still stuck. I sat down again. It’s a strange moment when you see death as close as I did.

“I wondered which part was going to burn first, and if it would hurt. I took 53G in my head so obviously I’m a bit stunned. But then I pull like crazy because my left foot is stuck under the pedal.

“I told myself that I haven’t slipped to the other side yet, so I put my hands in the fire and the gloves turned all black and I felt the pain. I knew I was burning my hands but it was the solution to live.”

Grosjean said he began to “shake from the pain” once he got to the medical centre, where FIA president Jean Todt asked for the phone number to call the driver’s wife.

Now out of hospital, he said he had “no trouble” watching the crash footage, and says Formula 1 needs to learn some lessons from his ordeal.

“We have to understand why the gloves burned so quickly, why my head restraint came off and blocked me. We can improve that.

“But helmet, underwear, overalls – it’s amazing because that’s what saved me. We also need to understand why the barrier opened like that. Jean asked me to go to the FIA and to work with them.”

Grosjean revealed that Sebastian Vettel came to see him in hospital on Monday morning, “and we said to each other that we need to have trained stewards – perhaps the same everywhere”.

“The one who saved me is a professional military firefighter. This gentleman knew exactly what he was doing and saved me.”

Finally, Grosjean admitted he had been thinking of a move to Indycar next year, but his only priority for now is to race in Abu Dhabi and assess his feelings.

“I want to find out what I’m capable of, if I still want to do it, if the passion is still there, if I’m afraid,” he said.

“My doubts are not about whether this accident could happen again, but of never wanting my loved ones to go through all of this again.

“A week ago, taking a year off seemed impossible,” he said. “Today, I tell myself that I will be able to kitesurf, ride bikes, see my children, have fun, drink good wine. This crash has changed my life forever.”

More news from Formula 1:

A look at Formula One father-son duos as Mick Schumacher is handed Haas spot
The 21-year-old German joins a long list of sons following in his famous father’s footsteps. Read more.

Michael Schumacher’s son to race for Haas during 2021 Formula One season
The 21-year-old German could wrap up the Formula Two championship in Bahrain this weekend. Read more.

George Russell given big chance after Lewis Hamilton withdrawal
The 22-year-old Briton is a member of the Mercedes junior driver programme. Read more.

Romain Grosjean discharged from hospital after horror crash
The Frenchman suffered burns to his hands after colliding head on with safety barriers shortly after the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton to be replaced by George Russell at Sakhir Grand Prix
World champion Lewis Hamilton is out of the race after testing positive for coronavirus. Read more.

Mick Schumacher “overwhelmed” to be racing in Formula One
Michael Schumacher signed a multi-year agreement with American team Haas. Read more.

How good is Mercedes without Hamilton? – Schumacher
Bahrain this weekend will show whether Lewis Hamilton is “worth every penny” to Mercedes. Read more.

Verstappen covid-negative after Hamilton contact
Max Verstappen has tested negative for covid-19 following concerns he was a ‘close contact’ of world champion Lewis Hamilton’s last week. Read more.

Schumacher could replace Grosjean in Abu Dhabi
Mick Schumacher could make his Formula 1 debut earlier than expected. Read more.

The key questions surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s replacement George Russell
George Russell has been selected to replace the world champion this weekend. Read more.

Steiner better than Vasseur as Mick’s first boss – Ralf
Gunther Steiner is the perfect first team boss for Mick Schumacher. Read more.

Ferrari made call to promote Schumacher to Haas
Ferrari chose which one of its three ‘academy’ junior drivers would race for Haas in 2021, according to the American outfit’s boss Gunther Steiner. Read more.

Alonso shown green light for ‘young driver’ test
Fernando Alonso has been shown the green light to test Renault’s 2020 car in the ‘young driver’ test after Abu Dhabi. Read more.