LONDON (Reuters) - Lotus Formula One driver Romain Grosjean revealed on Friday that the force of his Russian Grand Prix crash last weekend was so strong it broke his seat.
The Frenchman, who is leaving Lotus at the end of the season to join the new U.S-owned Haas F1 team, said his escape without injury after hitting the barriers in Sochi was a testament to Formula One’s safety levels.
“I‘m feeling pretty good, especially considering the force of the impact: I broke my seat,” he said in a team preview for next week’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Team technical director Nick Chester said initial investigations had not indicated anything broke on the car before the accident.
“It looks like Romain was maybe a little bit close to the McLaren and lost some downforce, running out of grip effectively,” he said.
”The car stood up well to the impact. The right hand side of the car suffered the damage -- front and rear suspension right hand side, the nose, the rear wing, crash structure.
“We haven’t seen anything, however, that should stop us getting the car back together (for Austin),” added Chester, whose team have been struggling for cash but are hoping to be taken over by Renault.
Deputy principal Federico Gastaldi said there was a mood of optimism for the future.
“There’s an underlying confidence and strengthening resolve at Enstone (the factory) as we have a positive outlook for the future, all of which will become evident before too long,” added the Argentine.
“There’s no point dancing faster than the music, but our dancing shoes are being polished in readiness.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond