Grosjean returned to the Bahrain paddock, days after his fiery crash, and met two firefighters to say “thank you for saving my life”.

Grosjean was discharged from hospital on Wednesday and is hopeful of recovering from his injuries so he can return to the cockpit for his final F1 race with Haas in Abu Dhabi.

The Frenchman, who is wearing bandages on both hands and an orthopedic boot on his left foot, met with medical car driver Alan van der Merwe and medical delegate Dr Ian Roberts, before greeting race director Michael Masi by quipping “I’m glad you changed that barrier!”

He then thanked all the marshals who had gathered, before meeting fire fighters Joby Mathew and Thaer Ali Taher – both members of Bahrain’s Civil Defence – who have since received ‘exceptional promotion’ for their reaction and handling of the fire.

Grosjean said to them: “Your reaction, your attitude, I saw the video, your awareness of where I was in the car… Thank you for saving my life.”

Speaking about his injuries yesterday, Grosjean said: “My whole left side was hit. My left ankle is sprained, my left knee was hit, and I've got nice bruises on my left shoulder, my left buttock and my left forearm. I think my left thumb wasn't spared either. Not only this hand is more badly burnt, but my thumb is slightly sprained.

“I've got strength and I can move it in many ways. I can close my fist. However, I can't touch my little finger yet. I would normally be able to [but I can’t at the moment] because it's inflamed and there's a big bandage too.”

He also sprained his left ankle as he tried to get out of the car, with his boot understood to have been trapped behind the brake pedals and coming off as he jumped out.

On the subject of getting back in the car next weekend, he added: “I need to know if I'm able to get back into a car, what I will feel, how it will go – and whether I'm still able to do it.”