As Romain Grosjean hurried away from the burning inferno, his car sliced in two and the safety barrier smashed to smithereens, the Frenchman must have had one thought on his mind.

How did he survive this fireball at the Bahrain Grand Prix?

It's testament to Formula One's modern-day safety regulations that the Haas driver walked away from one of the scariest crashes the sport has seen in recent years.

The outcome of this 140mph shunt could have been an awful lot worse and only highlights the huge strides F1 has made in safety since Jules Bianchi's tragic death in 2014.

Bianchi suffered serious head injuries in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2014, succumbing to them in July the following year.

Romain Grosjean escaped from a horror fireball crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Last year tragedy struck again as the sport mourned the death of Formula Two racer Anthoine Hubert at the Belgian Grand Prix

Hubert was the first fatality at an F1 race weekend since Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger died at the 1994 San Marino GP.

And for a worrying half-a-minute on Sunday, there were concerns over Grosjean's health after the Frenchman's car, heavy with fuel, split in two as it pierced the barrier and immediately burst into flames.

But to the relief of the watching millions, Grosjean eventually leapt away from the inferno with the help of Formula One doctor Ian Roberts.

Grosjean miraculously escaped after his Haas caught fire following a high-speed crash

It later emerged that Grosjean climbed out of his burning machine with his racing boot missing from his left foot.

Englishman Roberts and Alan van der Merwe, the driver of the FIA's medical car, were two of the first people on the scene to help the injured Frenchman.

Van der Merwe took the crash as a reminder of the dangers of the sport and said: "It was a big surprise. I have never seen that much fire in 12 years.

"Romain got out of the car himself, which is pretty amazing after an accident like that.

Stewards and medics attend to Haas F1's French driver Grosjean

"All the systems we have worked to develop, everything worked hand-in-hand: the halo, the barriers, the seat-belt. Everything worked.

"Without just one of those things working, it could have been a very different outcome."

Indeed, it was F1's halo cockpit safety device, which divided opinion when it was introduced in 2018, that proved effective and helped Grosjean to avoid a fatal injury.

The impact was measured at more than 50G, according to a spokesman for the FIA.

Somehow Grosjean emerged unscathed

"It is a miracle he is alive," said Britain's 1996 world champion Damon Hill, who also expressed his "absolute shock and horror" at the images of the fiery crash.

The race was delayed for an hour and 20 minutes as track workers removed the wrecked barrier and replaced it.

Fortunately the race played out with further incidents and Lewis Hamilton held on to secure a win in the first race since he was crowned a seven-time world champion a fortnight ago.

But this race will long be remembered as the day Grosjean, amazingly, escaped a horror crash which left the sport holding its breath.