Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo’s bursts into flames during Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

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Kimi Raikkonen


Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen is forced to tackle blaze HIMSELF after he is engulfed by a car fire in Abu Dhabi…. weeks after Romain Grosjean miraculously survived a 140mph fireball horror crash

  • Formula One has seen another car burst into flames while out on the track 
  • Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo had a malfunction and was quickly engulfed
  • The F1 star was able to safely leave the vehicle and helped tackle the flames
  • Incident comes just weeks after Romain Grosjean’s 140mph fireball horror crash

Formula One held its breath once again after Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo was engulfed in flames during practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Raikkonen was navigating his way around the Yas Marina circuit when an engine malfunction quickly sounded the alarm and required urgent action, as embers could be seen flashing from the rear of the vehicle.

The Finnish racer could be seen attempting to pull over his Alfa Romeo when it suddenly burst into flames, causing panic to spread among those present.

A collective relief could be felt around the track as the 41-year-old was able to quickly and safely emerge from the car, before helping circuit safety marshals extinguish the flames. 

Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo had a malfunction and was quickly engulfed at Yas Marina

An engine malfunction flagged up warnings, with embers soon seen from within the Alfa

An engine malfunction flagged up warnings, with embers soon seen from within the Alfa

Raikkonen's vehicle camera picked up the moment flames exploded from the rear of the car

Raikkonen’s vehicle camera picked up the moment flames exploded from the rear of the car

The 41-year-old was able to safely leave the car and helped marshals put out the blaze

The 41-year-old was able to safely leave the car and helped marshals put out the blaze

The 2007 world champion quickly emerged from his cockpit before helping the marshals and retreating safely to the side of the circuit.

The session was then red-flagged for a dozen minutes as Raikkonen’s chargrilled car was moved to safety.

The incident comes just weeks after Romain Grosjean’s 140mph fireball horror crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which left the sport reeling. 

Grosjean slammed into a steel circuit barrier at 137mph and immediately turned into a ball of fire as a result.

The terrifying and disturbing scenes led many to believe Grosjean would not emerge from the crash, with the Frenchman himself later emotionally admitting he had made peace with the fact he was going to die.

But Grosjean, a 34-year-old father of three, miraculously survived after being able to wriggle free from the cockpit after 28 seconds inside the inferno.

Gorsjean was left with only minor injuries, and was able to speak of the terrifying ordeal just one week on.

‘For me, it wasn’t 28 seconds,’ said Grosjean. ‘It felt more like a minute and 30.

‘The car stops, I open my eyes, I undo the seatbelt and I want to jump out.

‘I hit something on top of my helmet, so I sit back down and think I must be upside down against the barrier, so I’ll wait until they come and help me.

‘I looked to my right, looked to my left, and it was all orange. ‘That’s strange,’ I thought. 

‘A few things came into my head. Is it sunset? No. Is it the light from the circuit? No. Then I realised it was fire. So I knew I didn’t have time to wait to be rescued.

‘I tried to push myself up, a bit more to the right. Doesn’t work. A bit more to the left.

‘Doesn’t work. So I sit back down. Then there’s a bit of swearing going on. And I said, ‘No, I can’t finish like this’.

‘I thought about Niki Lauda, the driver I love most in the history of Formula One. I said, ‘I can’t finish like Niki (who suffered terrible burns when his Ferrari caught fire at the Nurburgring in 1976)’.

‘So I tried again. I’m stuck. And then the part which is most scary. I sit back down, all my muscles relax, and I was almost at peace with myself, thinking, ‘I’m dead. I will die’.

‘And then I thought, which part is going to burn first? Is it the foot? Is it the hands? Is it going to be painful? A very, very strange feeling. Death was right in front of my face. I named it Benoit. Don’t ask me why. I just had to put a name on it.

‘I don’t know if that moment allowed me to recover a bit, try to think of another solution, but I thought about my kids (Sacha, seven, Simon, five, Camille, two) and I said, ‘No. I cannot die today. For my kids, I cannot die today’. 

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