Romain Grosjean, Coyne, Laguna Seca, 2021

“High chance” Grosjean will do one oval race during first IndyCar season

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Romain Grosjean says there is a “high chance” he will add one oval race to his IndyCar schedule for 2021.

The former Formula 1 driver has moved to IndyCar with Coyne for the 2021 season. He originally decided to race only on the oval and road courses which account of 13 of the 17 races on this year’s calendar.

However Grosjean told media yesterday he is considering entering the final oval round of the season at Gateway in August.

“We haven’t really talked about it yet,” he said. “I think there are high chances that I would like to do it. But let’s see how the first races go, then we can assess.”

The two-kilometre Gateway oval is lapped at considerably lower speeds than the other two ovals IndyCar will race at this year. Average speeds at Gateway reach around 290kph, compared to 345kph at Texas Motor Speedway and over 370kph at Indianapolis.

Grosjean has completed two test days at the Barber Motorsport Park and Laguna Seca road courses ahead of his debut. Asked to rate his preparedness for the championship out of 10, Grosjean said he hopes “to get five or six by the time we get to Barber” for the season-opener next month.

“As I say, I’m an ex Formula 1 driver, a lot of people thought I was coming, ‘yeah, you’re going to win because you were Formula 1 driver’ – I don’t think you should see it that way.

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“Those guys have a lot of experience, they are super, super quick, they are top drivers. They’ve been here for a long time.

Romain Grosjean, Coyne, IndyCar, Barber Motorsport Park, 2021
“Fruity” cornering, heavy cars, impressive tyres: Grosjean compares IndyCar to F1
“I’ll focus on what I can do and what I can learn. I’m going to do my own work as much as I can. Nothing really beats the track and the races. That’s what I say, step-by-step, I’m a rookie, I need to learn things.”

It recently emerged Gene Haas decided against sponsoring Grosjean’s IndyCar campaign following his serious crash in November’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Grosjean confirmed his former F1 team boss’s interest and said he understood his decision not to proceed.

“We definitely had discussion before and after the crash with Haas to sponsor the project,” Grosjean said. “It felt like it could be a great story, racing for Haas in Formula 1 since the beginning, then carrying on and bringing the colour to IndyCar.

“Obviously they decided otherwise. I guess they had their reason and their choice. Fully understandable. It would have been cool to carry on the colour, but they decided otherwise.”

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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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  • 11 comments on ““High chance” Grosjean will do one oval race during first IndyCar season”

    1. He has taken well to the American climate. Looking much brighter.

    2. For his sake I hope he reconsiders oval races. Grosjean has shown numerous occasions, including his very scary crash in Bahrain, that he makes sudden, erratic turns. That’s the last thing you can do on an oval in the type of pack racing that happens in IndyCar. It will end up with himself or someone else launched into the wall or fence.

      1. He should never have swerved right at that frightening day. If I were him I wouldn’t do oval racing at all.

        1. @Dave. I agree. I think Gateway would be the safest of the three but even having said that I don’t think he should race any ovals at all. I hope he reconsiders attempting Gateway and decides not to do it.

          1. If I were him I would have taken the hint by now and that is you better stop before you really hurt yourself. What an utter

      2. the Motorsports you should realize the Collision that started the accident was pretty normal for Formula 1 starts it was just a freak accident with the way the car hit the barrier at that spot of the track.

        1. Also, if the barrier was still intact, we wouldn’t have seen one of the most horrible crashes ever…

        2. Exactly, I find it hard that people are commenting about the bahrain accident (I am no F1 expert,) I also acknowledge that Grosjean has been accident prione in his time at haas, but he has also had 10 podiums. Whilst the accident was horrible, his swerve right, and collision with Kyvat is not unusual, what was unusual was the way in which his car hit the barrier and the ensuing accident.

          Like I said I am not an f1 expert (I think you would call it an Armchair driver), but I will say that hindsight is a wonderful thing

    3. I don’t think he’ll do more than a single oval.

    4. I think Grosjean would do fine on the ovals give me the differences of the Indy versus Formula 1 car.

    5. Hard not to be worried about him. I hope he does good, but I mostly hope he keeps his wits about him. I think all Indy drivers are reserved to the fact that an oval may be their last day on earth. That is a realistic amount of respect that I hope Gros can wrap his head around.

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