Miracle man Grosjean signs US deal but will sit out Indy 500

·2-min read
Moment of horror: Fire destroys the Haas car of Romain Grosjean at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, who almost lost his life in a horrifying Formula One fireball crash two months ago, on Wednesday announced he will drive this year in the US-based IndyCar series but will sit out the iconic Indianapolis 500 for the sake of his family.

The Frenchman narrowly escaped death at the Bahrain Grand Prix at the end of November when his Haas car burst into flames after it crashed into a barrier at 220km/h on the first lap.

His car was destroyed in just 28 seconds.

After losing his F1 drive, Grosjean will now race for the Dale Coyne team in the United States.

"What I've missed the most over the last few years is being able to fight to try to win races," said the 34-year-old.

"So, clearly, to find a championship where I can fight and try to win races every weekend, that is great."

In the immediate aftermath of his Bahrain inferno, Grosjean told AFP: "I saw death too closely."

After being pulled from the flames, the veteran French driver suffered severe burns to both hands, a sprained left ankle and bruises on one side of his body.

However, Grosjean will not compete in the Indy 500 to spare his family's nerves.

"I was initially supposed to do the whole season, including the ovals, but after the accident I didn't feel like doing the two 'super speedways' that are in Texas and Indianapolis," added Grosjean.

"I don't feel like doing it in relation to my family, to my children, who went through an indescribable thing in Bahrain, watching TV at home.

"I don't want them to end up in the same situation again."

Grosjean raced in 179 Grands Prix in 10 seasons in Formula One with Renault, Lotus and then Haas who had already decided to replace him before the accident.

He ended his decade-long career in the world championship without a win. However, he had 10 podium finishes.

Grosjean will get his IndyCar season underway at the Alabama Grand Prix on April 18.

ole-pel/dj/td