Grosjean may not be fully fit for IndyCar debut ‘but I’ve had two F1 podiums with a broken hand’


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Romain Grosjean says he may not be fully fit in time for his planned first IndyCar test in two weeks’ time.

The former Haas driver will race for Coyne in 13 of this year’s 17 IndyCar rounds. He is due to have his first test for them in two weeks’ time at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, which will be the scene of his race debut in April.

However Grosjean, whose hands were seriously burned in his Bahrain Grand Prix crash in November, says they may not be completely healed before he returns to the cockpit.

“My left hand [is] still quite marked,” he said last week. “But it’s uglier than it is bad, I would say.

“It’s all working well. The left hand ligament was pulled away, I’ve had surgery, this is going okay.

“The first test for us is the 22nd of February. I may not yet be 100% in terms of what I can do, but definitely good enough to drive very well. By the time we go to race one, I think I’m going to be ready.”

Alex Palou, Coyne, IndyCar, Circuit of the Americas, 2020
IndyCar team Coyne will welcome Grosjean for 2021
Grosjean said he’s “not worried” about the speed of his recovery. “I’ve been in the gym since the accident. The accident happened on Sunday in Bahrain, by Wednesday I was already in the gym trying to get the mobility going.

“It was a difficult call for the doctors between stopping my hands to move and getting the recovery and the skin faster, or keeping it moving to keep the strength and the mobility. But we knew there was more risk of delaying the healing.”

The strength in Grosjean’s left hand is “90% back”, he said, “which is very good.”

“Initially the first limitation would be the ligament from my left thumb because that is just time that heals it.

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“But I’ve been very gentle and followed the rules from the doctor, who is a hand specialist in Geneva I really trust. When he tells me I can do something, I do it. When he tells me not to do it, I don’t do it. I think that was quite important for me to know where to put the limit. He’s very confident in the ligament being good.

“Really I don’t see much limitation. As I say, when I wake up in the morning, the hand is quite stiff. I need to put some cream, getting it moving and so on. Some of the movements are still a bit limiting.”

After his Barber test, Grosjean is due to run at Laguna Seca the following week and will have two more days of testing on road courses in addition to simulator work before the season begins.

The postponement of the Barber, St Petersburg and Long Beach races means the championship will start six weeks later than originally planned. “It all actually played into my hands, if I can use the play on words,” laughed Grosjean. “As I say, I am not worried that we’re [not] going to be okay.”

Grosjean’s last podium finish was at Spa in 2015
“In terms of physical training, I’ve been going in the gym quite a bit because I know there is no power steering in IndyCar,” he added. “That’s something I need to relearn.”

Grosjean revealed he has previously carried injuries during his Formula 1 career which weren’t disclosed at the time.

“I shouldn’t say [this], but I’ve been on the podium in Formula 1 with a broken right hand twice. The pain goes away when you go racing. I’ve been racing with broken parts, I’ve been on the podium, I think it was okay.”

Top image: Romain Grosjean via Instagram

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Grosjean may not be fully fit for IndyCar debut ‘but I’ve had two F1 podiums with a broken hand’”

  1. It really shows how much a good doctor is needed to keep these guys (m/f) from doing things that could hurt them in the long run!
    Now I wonder how he actually broke that hand!

    1. With Kimi as his teammate at the time I wonder if it involved some drinks?

    2. Now I wonder how he actually broke that hand!

      Last year he shared that he broke his hand when he fell in his kitchen.

      I broke my hand earlier this year falling down in the kitchen and I haven’t told anyone. It was an open break, two bones, and I went to the hospital

      The fact that he was on the podium with a broken hand is new though.
      Must be when nobody was looking ;)

  2. I wonder which two of his podium finishes from 2012 to the 2015 Belgian GP. Weird that those weren’t noticeable from the outside at the time.

    1. @jerejj Most likely to be in 2013 (eventually 2012) as it is the year with closest podium occurrences (Kor, Jpn, Ind & USA).

  3. He just keeps getting smarter..

    1. He’s not racing ovals at least, so he can’t let himself go of this world.

  4. I wonder about his potential sponsors in America.
    Dale Coyne is understood to announce a partnership in a couple weeks. Grosjean has personal sponsors in Richard Mille, MindMaze, Praga, SoccerCoin, iBanFirst, Dita and Bell helmets.

  5. Looking forward to Indy series this year with more road racing and a new kiwi V8 supercar champ and Romain competing

  6. And he wanted to race in Abu Dhabi 2020?

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