Coyne confirms Jones and ‘would love to have Grosjean’ in IndyCar

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In the round-up: IndyCar team owner Dale Coyne confirmed one of his drivers for the 2021 season and says he is keen to hire Romain Grosjean if he can.

Coyne has a seat spare for Grosjean after confirming Jones

Ed Jones, Carpenter, IndyCar, 2019
Jones returns to IndyCar following his 2020 absence
Dale Coyne announced Ed Jones will return to his team this year to form one half of their two-car line-up. Jones made his debut in IndyCar with Coyne in 2017 before moving up to Ganassi, but was left without a drive after racing for Carpenter in 2019.

Coyne has one of the few remaining seats left in the series for this year, and former Haas F1 driver Grosjean, who is still recovering from the injuries he sustained in his huge Bahrain crash last year, has been tipped as a potential addition to their line-up.

“You all could make a list of a hundred drivers, we’ve talked to probably every one of them this winter,” said Coyne. “Employed, unemployed, America, Europe, every country. It’s been kind of amazing.

“Obviously Romain is a good driver. We’d love to have him. We’re working on a few other ones as well. Hopefully we get all that buttoned up and make an announcement next week and then get out to testing in February.”

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Comment of the day

@Tomcat173 says Red Bull’s rival teams should be accommodating towards their request for a freeze on power unit development from next year:

If the other teams were to be reasonable and ‘sporting’ in this situation, they’d allow Red Bull and AlphaTauri to freeze engine development for an additional year. Even if the teams look at their own situation in isolation, freezing engines means there’s one major area of car performance that remains static, and they could divert resources towards 2023 engine development. That’s where the goodwill comes in.

That said, competition in F1 is just as fierce off the track. Surely the other teams would oppose freezing development, simply because its such a obvious and significant way to hamstring Red Bull and AlphaTauri. Allowing the freeze means other teams would largely accept current levels of Red Bull/AlphaTauri competitiveness, whereas opposing the freeze means there’s opportunity for Red Bull/AlphaTauri to go backwards. The only possible exception would be Ferrari powered teams (as has been stated above) who feel they are under-performing relative to where they feel they should be.

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  • 43 comments on “Coyne confirms Jones and ‘would love to have Grosjean’ in IndyCar”

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      28th January 2021, 0:12

      Cool to see Seb embrace the hairline and go for the Gerhard Berger look

      1. That photo took me a bit by surprise. I never noticed before that Seb had that going on!

      2. Looking at Seb’s hairline last year reminded me of mine!

        Looks like he’s gone down the route I took as well. Guess Seb’s a pretty cool guy, didnt go for transplant which is all the rage now!

        1. Just remove all for the bad ass look (or insane) so the other drivers will evade him :)

        2. Lol @ Racefans chosing picture to show Vettel at Aston Martin. With Sainz at Ferrari it was slightly different, wasn’t it.

          1. @balue what else are they supposed to do when the team itself is publishing that photo? Should they make something else up instead just for you?

      3. Someone give Vettel the number of Hamilton’s hair doctor. He looks like Hamilton in 2009

      4. @fullcoursecaution I can’t remember which race it was last year but in some interview it looked then like he lost a bit of hair. This is very far fetched but it could mean something bigger or it is just his new Stirling Moss look.

    2. I thought that was Prince William in the car

      1. Sebastian going for the Adrian Newey look.

      2. What is with the brown leather interior of the Aston?! Executive line extension

    3. Wow, I guess the Ferrari years really were stressful.

    4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      28th January 2021, 6:57

      Wow, he’s not going to be mistaken for Antonio Giovanazzi any time soon.

    5. The Driver Formerly Known As ‘Herr’! :-)

    6. Did he lose hair or merely went for a haircut, LOL? I almost didn’t recognize him at the very first glance yesterday.

      I still have doubts about Grosjean in IndyCar, but only because he has a family and IndyCar races take place in the US only. A series that either solely races in Europe or Europe and other continents a la F1 are more likely options.

      1. I thought he said something that he was reconsidering going to the IndyCar. And I can’t blame him he is overthinking after that crash i recommend not to go racing untill he speaks to some with the same experience (Niki would be a person to speak)

        1. Unless Grosjean has access to a good medium I don’t think Niki’s going to be giving much advice @macleod

          1. I wanted to say a person like Niki (i used would but was not clear enough) But i know some mediums but the third person would be disruptive for these case.

    7. That CotD is quite a stretch and seems like based on a misunderstanding @tomcat173. This is not about Red Bull and AT not developing their own (the Honda) engine and needing any allowance for that.

      This is about RB requesting ALL engines to stop being developed so that them not being able to develop the Honda doesn’t mean they drop back in performance. It means Ferrari being fine with locking in their weak engine as is currently, quite unsporting if you want to go for that angle.
      And if we then put in the performance balancing to allow Ferrari a backdoor way to not have to do development (and save money on that?) but not suffer the consequences of their cheating in before 2019 anymore. How is that fair or sporting towards the likes Renault, who have put in the work to get their power unit more or less up to par by now?

      1. someone or something
        28th January 2021, 9:32

        Yeah, I found that a weird way to re-frame the whole situation.
        Especially since the fix could literally not be easier: There are three other engine manufacturers left, two of which are realistically available. Just pick one, and leave the rest in peace.

        And that’s all there really is to say, in my opinion. Changing your engine supplier is not a cruel and unusual punishment by any means. Other teams do it every few years, and you don’t really hear them complaining about it or asking for a major change to the rules in their favour. Even if they are, like McLaren, affected by a new rule that makes the engine switch much more painful (the development token system that was introduced as a reaction to the pandemic).

        1. They don’t have a choice. None of the manufacturers seem to want to supply them, but one (Renault) is mandated to do so.

          1. someone or something
            28th January 2021, 17:06

            Have Ferrari said they don’t want to supply Red Bull? I can’t remember hearing anything to that effect, so a source would be very welcome.

            Be that as it may, Renault have no choice. If Red Bull come a-knockin’, they leave with Renault power units. Problem solved. Still doesn’t justify changing the rules for everyone else.

            1. someone or something, Ferrari have not formally ruled out the option of supplying Red Bull with engines, but have said that they’ve not considered the idea in much depth.

              However, there aren’t many signs that either side have approached the idea with much enthusiasm – the current performance of Ferrari’s engine is unlikely to be appealing to Red Bull, and Red Bull’s efforts to get the FIA to investigate Ferrari’s engines is unlikely to have made them that popular with Ferrari.

              There is also the question of what would happen to Alpha Tauri, the junior team of Red Bull. Ferrari would only be allowed to supply one more team, so that would force Red Bull to have to find another supplier for their junior team. That would be inconvenient though, as that would ruin the parts sharing strategy that they have – hence the preference to have the same supplier for both teams.

            2. someone or something
              29th January 2021, 13:01

              Hi anon,

              someone or something, Ferrari have not formally ruled out the option of supplying Red Bull with engines, but have said that they’ve not considered the idea in much depth.

              To me, this sounds like Red Bull simply haven’t approached Ferrari. And they probably won’t due to the performance issues you mentioned. As for the bad blood caused by the investigations, they don’t strike me as particularly relevant. Anyone in F1 has good reasons to be hated by or hate everyone else, and that episode was just par for the course.

              As for Alpha Tauri, I’m probably not telling you anything new, but they don’t really have much of a history of sharing engine suppliers. A measly 6 out of 15 seasons so far, including of course the times when they shared 100% of their parts (as well as the years after that, when they “weren’t sharing any parts” [just imagine me making air quotes after every word]).
              Sure, it’ll be somewhat uncomfortable. It’s up to them – and only them – to deal with it, but they’re trying to make it everyone else’s problem. And that’s where I strongly feel they shouldn’t get a pass.

            3. someone or something, the reason why I brought up the idea of Red Bull wanting to share components with Alpha Tauri is because they have talked about it being a way of helping to bring down costs for both teams under the new budget cap system.

              You are correct to note that the two teams did run different engines, but in the period where Toro Rosso was a direct customer of Red Bull, the way that the engine was integrated did cause quite a few differences.

              Whilst the chassis was the same, there were actually quite a few changes to the internal layout of Toro Rosso’s car as Ferrari’s V8 engine did have some noticeable differences – for example, although slightly more powerful than the Renault V8, the cooling requirements were slightly more onerous and the fuel consumption was a fraction higher, so the layout of the radiators for the Toro Rosso cars had to be modified. There were also differences in how the hydraulics systems operated, which in turn meant that Toro Rosso had to use a modified version of the transmission that Red Bull designed for their own car. It’s true that those issues were not disastrous – it was a case of an added inconvenience, but not the most taxing one.

              That said, Red Bull’s position has shifted since Haas entered the sport and shifted towards the closer parts sharing arrangement that it has with Ferrari. Whilst Red Bull seem to have used Toro Rosso as a way of developing engineers and experimenting with different concepts for a while, Red Bull responded to Haas’s operating model by significantly increasing their parts sharing with Toro Rosso, pushing them closer to their historical operating model.

              One factor that has also brought about some re-evaluation of the desire for closer integration with Toro Rosso is the introduction of the budget cap system. Red Bull have discussed the fact that being able to share components with Toro Rosso will play a part in their strategy for distributing costs and staff across the two teams as they readjust to the limitations of the cap – whilst it would not be a complete disaster if they couldn’t share components, the increased costs ensuing from having to modify an existing component design would be a bit more problematic under the cost cap system.

      2. This is about RB requesting ALL engines to stop being developed so that them not being able to develop the Honda doesn’t mean they drop back in performance.

        @bascb This is precisely my point. Freezing engine development basically means you accept the status quo, that RB/AT have a decent engine. If you allow engine development, to the back drop of Honda reducing their efforts to developing their engine, then their performance would fall behind the others. So opposing the freeze benefits other teams.

        I don’t know how Red Bull would even go about developing the engine they have. Who would be doing this development if Honda is pulling back? Red Bull aren’t engine manufacturers, and forcing them to manage developing it would reduce the time, effort and resources away from other areas.

        1. @tomcat173 – The part why I find it unfair to ask others to stop development a year earlier than planned (meaning they also have to quickly develop to allow the planned change with more syntethic fuels): 1. It locks in Ferraris lack of power for 3-6 years, instead of giving them another year to develop back. 2. Renault put a lot of effort in themselves to get where they are, but most importantly 3. Red Bull DO have a choice. They can just get the Renault supply, which WILL be developed, or they find it more important to stay with having full control, in which case they either agree with Honda to put in some development, or they agree with another company to support them. We know they have the partners to do (minor) developmentwork. Or indeed they can save themselves money and just use the engine as is with the risk of falling down a bit.

          Look, I wholly get it if they do agree on something to keep everyone sort of happy. But staging this as “unsporting” towards Red Bull?? Sorry, that one doesn’t fly.

    8. F1 fans have come a long way from objectifying girls to now being the premier hairstyle discussion forum.

      1. @coldfly LOL. A good way of looking at things.

    9. I would love to have Grosjean showing his gaming equipment, streaming more Among Us and probably doing F1 game reviews too.

      1. All better than driving in Indycar. This guy has a strange dead wish. If ever someone was not suitable for Indy its Grosjean. In hope he comes to his senses or his family just veto it.

        1. At least he’s not doing ovals so he can’t let himself go.
          Is this the person who is trying to uncensor everything on the Petrov thread? Enemy warning!

    10. I recall my disgust at Ford when they forced Ferrari to change name of an F1 car because it was the same as their oversized ute.
      I’ve never bought a Ford since (not that I ever did so before that).

      Still wonder why BMW is not claiming the first ten digits and Porsche not drafting seize and desist letters for when teams get to the 900’s.

      1. Porsche did prevent Jordan calling the 191 the Jordan 911, which was what the car was originally going to be called (91 for the year and 1 for an F1 spec chassis).

        1. Thanks anon.
          Maybe Jordan should have renamed it 964 then.

          Anyway, I will add Porsche utes to the list of cars I’ll never buy ;)

          1. someone or something
            28th January 2021, 10:46

            Make that Porsche in general :/

            1. Happy to include sunglasses, but cannot commit any further than that ;)

        2. someone or something
          28th January 2021, 10:44

          I’d hate to go up against you in a pub quiz …

          However, I can think of three reasons why Porsche gets a pass on this one, while Ford shouldn’t:
          – It’s hard to overstate how iconic the number 911 is in motor racing
          – Porsche was involved in F1 back in 1991 (although that season was probably more damaging to the brand than the shenanigans of an Irish copycat)
          – Jordan was a no-name team trying to use a much more famous brand to attract attention, while Ferrari was already a world-famous brand that tried to use its fame to attract attention to something that had nothing to do with motor sports and profits.

          (Actually, there was a fourth reason: Jordan’s naming scheme made no sense and likely would’ve been dropped after that season. However, Ferrari’s naming schemes never make sense, either, and are routinely discontinued after a single season, so …)

          1. someone or something, mind you, Porsche originally called the 911 the 901, and 82 cars are registered as having been built and sold as the 901, before Peugeot then filed a complaint against Porsche.

            At the time, Peugeot had the exclusive rights to give a car a name that was three numbers long and had a zero in the middle in France, and Peugeot was manufacturing two cars (the 403 and the 404) that were making use of that right. Porsche’s solution was then to rename the 901 as the 911 – although 901 remained the internal name designation for most of the 1960s, and it is why the engines that were used in the 911 retained their designation as the “Type 901”.

            With regards to your comment that “Jordan was a no-name team trying to use a much more famous brand to attract attention”, there is very little evidence that it was intended to attract attention or that anybody paid any more attention to Jordan because they called the car the 911.

            If you look at how most publications reacted at the time, they only mentioned the name 911 in passing – nobody really seemed to care about the name or make any reference to Porsche. If anything, the main interest in the press wasn’t the name, but the news that Jordan was getting the Ford HB series engine for 1991 – until then, Benetton had the exclusive right to the Ford HB series engines.

            1. This is amazing. Loved reading the entire thread!

    11. And people wonder why Seb isn’t on social media… Looking at all the comments across Twitter aghast at his hair-loss (which to be fair, has been years in the thinning for those paying attention) its info I’m sure he is aware of and could do without!

      On another note, I’m very excited to see all the newbies (some of them not that new these days) getting fitted in their respective new teams; whilst not a massive leap forward in rule changes, 2021 is going to be really intriguing.

    12. Awesome hairstyle.

      He looks like a veteran fighter pilot now.

      Now just a tweed jacket and a hat. He will be more British than Italian in notime.

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