Romain Grosjean, Coyne, Laguna Seca, 2021

Grosjean’s farewell F1 test moves a step closer with seat fitting

2021 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean has completed a seat fitting in preparation for his farewell Formula 1 test, which Mercedes is expected to arrange.

The executive producer of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, James Gay-Rees, revealed Grosjean’s seat fitting in an interview for the In The Fast Lane podcast.

Grosjean, who is racing in IndyCar this year, was offered the test following his violent crash in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Grosjean suffered burns which prevented him from participating in what would have been the final two races of his F1 career.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed last December they were prepared to offer him a car. “If we are allowed to do this and nobody else within his universe of teams that he raced would provide him with such an opportunity, we would do it,” he said.

In February Grosjean revealed he had spoken to Mercedes and was “finalising the plan” for the test.

A spokesperson for the world champions declined to confirm whether Grosjean had visited their factory for the seat fitting.

Grosjean’s test will have to take place within the FIA’s strict limits on when teams can run their cars. They are forbidden from running their current cars outside of race weekends, official tests and two filming days per season, but may conduct tests using machinery from previous seasons.

The test will have to be scheduled around Grosjean’s IndyCar commitments. He is due to make his debut for Coyne in the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsport Park on April 18th.

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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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15 comments on “Grosjean’s farewell F1 test moves a step closer with seat fitting”

  1. Jonathan Parkin
    8th April 2021, 8:50

    Actually Grosjean only failed to take part in his final race. Had the red flag led to a second start and not a continuation of the first he would have been DNS’d for that race also, but he wasn’t

    1. @Jonathan Parkin What do you mean? The last two races (Bahrain 2 and Abu Dhabi). The Bahrain 1 red flag indeed led to a second standing start, but he was DNF anyway.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        8th April 2021, 9:40

        The usual procedure during a red flag within the first two laps was a fresh start over the full race distance. That was what I assumed it would be. In this case Romain would be a DNS as he wouldn’t be on the grid for the start that became the race

        However Bahrain 2 last year for no apparent reason changed the rule so it wasn’t a fresh start but the race still carried on – this explains the high race winning time. In that scenario because Romain took part in the start that became a completed race he took part, albeit for only one corner

        1. Pedro Andrade
          8th April 2021, 10:50

          Jonathan, the point Jere was making is that you forgot the Sakhir GP :)

          1. Understandable when you usually are racing at the same venue the following year.

        2. Jonathan, that procedure was changed 16 years ago. Since the 2005 season the original start is no longer deemed null and void and the race clock does not stop. A red flag in the first two laps is now treated just as any other red flag throughout the race.

          The procedure you’re referring to of a red flag within the first two laps last appeared in the 2004 Sporting Regulations and was last used in the 2001 German GP for the incident involving Luciano Burti and Michael Schumacher.

          But yes, as others have commented, there were two further races following the 2020 Bahrain GP anyway – the Sakhir GP a week later on the Outer Loop, and the Abu Dhabi GP.

          1. Jonathan Parkin
            8th April 2021, 13:28

            Ah yes I did get a bit confused about the Bahrain races sorry about that. But I have to ask why was the procedure changed in 2005 and why the race clock doesn’t stop.

            The ‘longest F1 race’ actually isn’t if you just time the two individual parts minus the stoppage.

  2. I’m not sure but as Grosjean doesn’t live in the US for the moment and is round tripping from America to Switzerland, he might have a few occasions. On the other hand, looking at both F1 and Indycar calendars it might only happen at the end of year.

  3. I wonder would he use W10 (the most recent car eligible for unlimited running as of this year) for the occasion or an earlier one. I guess we’ll find out later.

    1. I guess in theory they might even put him in the car on a day Mercedes is running a Pirelli test @jerejj!

      1. @bascb Possible. Mercedes might even use the W10 featuring some modifications (like Ferrari has used SF90) for the 18-inch wheel rim tests.

  4. So, I guess he is going to drive the fastest ever hybrid F1 car. But I know how he is going to comment it:

    “Thanks Mercedes for this opportunity. The car was mega fast, glad to drive top car” ish.

    1. How about stuffing it in the wall and complain about the car.. No, he’ll do fine, but still mystified what’s Mercedes motive with this. Wingman to Verstappen?

      1. Merc is just doing a favour, Toto promised in the heat, right after he came out of hospital, therefore eh is honoring it. There’s no other intent behind it.

  5. Aaron turnbull
    9th April 2021, 8:10

    Simple… its a huge marketing opportunity… grosjean’s crash was one of the biggest stories coming out of last season. Mercedes will come out looking like the nicest team ever to organise this for him, and it makes the merc juggernaut more likeable

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