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ATL statement re Romain Grosjean accident

6 December 2020

Aero Tech Laboratories UK (ATL) has long been at the forefront of designing, developing and building racing car fuel plumbing, adapting to meet the requirements set by the various sanctioning bodies. Since being founded in 1970, it has developed its remarkable bladder-type cells, which deform under high-energy impacts. Its fuel cells, motorsport refuelling equipment and accessories can be found in a variety of exciting projects, including the entire Formula 1 field for over 30 years.

Although not named, there has been a lot of misinformation and uninformed speculation about the fuel leakage and fire in Romain Grosjean’s fiery accident at the Bahrain GP, ATL has felt obliged to publish the following statement:

ATL statement re Romain Grosjean accident

Following the accident involving the Haas F1 Team car #8, driven by Romain Grosjean, Aero Tec Laboratories (ATL) would like to state its position on the accident and investigation. At this point in time it would be wrong for ATL to provide comment regarding the fuel leakage that caused a fire to ensue following the car’s impact with the barrier. ATL engineers have begun investigating the cause and drawn initial conclusions from the evidence currently at hand which has been shared with the FIA and Formula 1. ATL will be working with the FIA to ensure that all facts are understood with containment and corrective actions put in place at the appropriate time to reduce the risk of such events occurring in the future.

All parties continue to strive to ensure that the safety fuel bladders are integrated into the survival cells of all vehicles in such a way that the risk of fire in such an incident is mitigated wherever possible. It has been demonstrated that the FIA process of investigation of such accidents leads to effective risk mitigation in the future by various means. ATL wishes to support any advancements that may come from the lessons learned as part of this investigation.

This ethos very much aligns with ATL’s own continuous improvement and safety centric culture. Formula 1 uses safety fuel bladder materials homologated to the highest standard, FIA/FT5; a standard which has been applied to more and more series worldwide. This standard has proven effective in the harshest of environments and accidents including the World Rally Championship. To provide context, the standard far exceeds that of the highest aviation standards.

ATL will not provide further comment on the events in Bahrain. We understand that the fuel leakage will be considered in the FIA investigation, the outcome of which is anticipated in 6 to 8 weeks.

ATL wishes to take this opportunity to wish Romain and his family well and hope that he has a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained. We would also like to thank all of the FIA team at the event and the other officials, health care workers and volunteers involved in his rescue and care.

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