Romain Grosjean, Mercedes, 2021

Grosjean: Mercedes F1 test will happen but not at French Grand Prix

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean says Mercedes intends to honour their commitment, made after his fiery crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, to let him drive one of their Formula 1 cars.

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In brief

Grosjean’s Mercedes test still on the cards

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff promised Grosjean a test in one of their cars after his shocking Bahrain crash cut his F1 career short. I public run and private test were scheduled for last year, but both had to be cancelled after F1 made changes to its calendar.

Grosjean confirmed he has spoken to Wolff who has indicated his test opportunity will be rescheduled in among the 23 races on the 2022 F1 calendar.

“I sent a message to Toto after Abu Dhabi,” said Grosjean. “I let a few weeks go by and and then I sent a message to Toto and he did reply and it started ‘thank you’ and then the last sentence was ‘we need to get you in that car this year’. So yes, it’s still on the cards.”

He was originally supposed to drive the car at the French Grand Prix last year until the date of the race was changed. “There were a few things last year that didn’t make it easy,” he admitted.

“This year, I cannot go at the French Grand Prix because we’re racing in Iowa the same weekend. But definitively, yes, Mercedes is keen to do it, I am keen to do it, even though my neck would be dying because I’ve lost part of the muscle there.

“But yes, we still want to do it and if it happens, great, but the main focus is now trying to win races with Andretti.”

Deal to uncover early F1 races from ITV archive

F1 races which were broadcast live by ITV in the sixties and seventies are to be unearthed after the British television channel agreed a deal with Racing Past Media to explore its archive. The footage includes the dramatic, rain-hit 1976 title-decider at Fuji in Japan, and other races broadcast prior to 1981.

Former F1 presenter Steve Rider, who heads up RPM, said the archive includes documentary and feature material as well as races. “This is the first step in a project that, along with the co-operation of other archives and rights holders, will help provide a complete and accessible archive of the formative years of the Formula 1 world championship.”

Formula E reveals new Safety Car

Porsche Taycan Turbo S Formula E Safety Car
Porsche Taycan Turbo S Formula E Safety Car

Formula E has a new Safety Car for its upcoming season, which starts at Diriyah in Saudi Arabia later this month. The departure of BMW from the series means the Mini Electric Pacesetter will no longer be seen leading the field, so Porsche has supplied examples of its Taycan Turbo S, which an hit 260kph and go from 0 to 100kph in 2.8 seconds.

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Comment of the day

Losing the small amount of freedom teams once had over their tyre selections isn’t too great a loss, says @Red-andy:

I have always been an advocate of giving the teams more choice over tyre compounds (in an ideal world I’d go even further and allow multiple manufacturers, but I accept that is unlikely in this budget-capped era), but the way it was implemented did not allow for sufficient variation to make it interesting.

Get rid of the two-compound rule and give the teams completely free choice over which of the five compounds they’d like to bring to each race. But maybe not in the first year of a completely new wheel profile, as that would maybe be too much of a lottery.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Markg!

Author information

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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24 comments on “Grosjean: Mercedes F1 test will happen but not at French Grand Prix”

  1. RandomMallard
    19th January 2022, 0:11

    I do hope Grosjean gets to complete that Mercedes test eventually. No one deserves their final drive in an F1 car to end like his did.

    Wasn’t that Tom Felton article linked the other day on the Round-up, but with a different extract? It feels familiar. May have been a different site though.

    They ITV deal could be fascinating. Wonder if they’ll end up being broadcast by ITV themselves, or eventually end up on F1TV (or both is a possibility).

    Glad that Mini is gone from FE. It just seemed very, very slow. Hopefully the Porsche can be a bit quicker.

    A return to 90 minute practice sessions? I thought the 60 minute sessions worked really well last year, and would like to see them be a more permanent fixture in the long term, but I suppose I wouldn’t mind it for this season so they can get a bit more experience and data with the new cars. Not reading too much into it though until there’s some actual confirmation.

    Nice to see good work being made with Miami. A notable contrast in build speed and completion compared a certain other recently new street circuit…

    1. RandomMallard
      19th January 2022, 0:15

      Wasn’t that Tom Felton article linked the other day on the Round-up, but with a different extract? It feels familiar. May have been a different site though.

      Just checked, and yes it was linked on the 16th January Round-up as well.

      1. Never knew that Draco Malfoy was a F1 fan but he does much more then playing in Plays didn’t knew that. Impressive..

        1. RandomMallard
          20th January 2022, 0:29

          @macleod He also has a fairly unknown music career, with a couple (a few idk) EPs on Spotify. I can’t tell you if it’s any good, but it exists nonetheless.

  2. RandomMallard
    19th January 2022, 0:14

    Wasn’t that Tom Felton article linked the other day on the Round-up, but with a different extract? It feels familiar. May have been a different site though.

    Just checked, and yes it was linked on the 16th January Round-up as well.

    1. RandomMallard
      19th January 2022, 0:15

      Meant to be a reply to my previous comment.

      1. I thought I’d seen it before ;)

  3. Hope it eventually happens indeed, I guess you can see why I’m not too trusting of wolff’s word ofc.

    1. It isn’t about Wolff, there are rules regarding testing cars and then the right window when the driver is available to test.
      An F1 car is not like a family car in the garage, it requires some planning, a crew and equipment to start, run and monitor. Then you add the circuit to run it and a very long racing season. It is going to cost a lot of money to just have him run as a single day event, so it is best to combine it with other car duties. As Grosjean said, the original last year test day was cancelled because the race weekend didn’t hold.

      1. RandomMallard
        19th January 2022, 7:11

        Yeah that sounds about right. This is a complex logistical challenge that is about much more than 2 people.

        Another interesting thing to note is that the 2021 cars are now classed as “previous” cars, because of the new regulations being so different, and not “recent” cars (I’m not sure that’s the exact wording in the regs but it has the same effect). As a result, there are now a lot fewer (none?) restrictions on testing 2020 and 2021 cars outside official sessions.

  4. 90 mins sessions? You know what that means… No sprint races.

    1. @peartree, how so, could it not just as easy be more sprint races but fewer practice sessions, the difference being made up by the extra 30 mins of practice per session.

    2. @peartree @hohum I had actually heard last week that there is a possibility of no sprint races happening this year.

      Zak Brown then confirmed what I’d heard during a recent media call.

      If there isn’t any in 2022 Don’t take that as them been dropped permanently as Liberty are still adamant they want them & want to steadily increase the number over the next few years. They will almost certainly be back in 2023 as they won’t need the agreement of a majority of the teams which is the thing that may stop them happening this year.

      1. @gt-racer Interesting.

  5. Fantastic news if they can get some 60’s footage onto F1TV. You can find some real gems on YouTube if you spend enough time looking but official and complete recordings in one place would be amazing! Hopefully this will also mean they’ll be able to provide full races rather than just season reviews for the 70’s. I wonder how much of the 50’s was recorded… No use in having an archive of footage sitting on a shelf gathering dust!

    1. Yeah, I’d love to see some of the action from the 60s and 70s. F1 was a totally different world back then.

      Having it uploaded to f1tv would be awesome

      1. Prepare that the television quality is very poor only the polychrome picture are good.

    2. Maybe an idea for this site (@KeithCollantine @WillWood) to review some old races a bit more extensively than a paragraph in a round-up.

      Maybe you can let us know when you will review which race.
      Have some kind of deal with F1TV to open up that race for your readers for a week (could be a win-win for this site and F1TV).
      Have a review of the race weekend with an open comment section.

      Alternatively we can continue to rehash the dug-in opinions of the most recent lap/round/season.

    3. @tommy-c It’s not a guarantee that this stuff will be added to F1TV, I suspect that Liberty will try to get access to the footage but it will be upto ITV, Steve Rider & RPM (Racing Past Media) on who they sell or just give access to it.

      I also wouldn’t get your hopes up for full races or even extended highlights as outside of a select few ITV tended to only air shorter packages during that era, Some of which were packaged within other programming. Maybe they will still have the full race tapes they used to edit those packages but what tended to happen back then was to keep the package you made as that was your own programming but then record over the full race tape. I’m not 100% sure on exactly what ITV’s policy was back then.

      It’s my belief that the BBC archive would feature more F1 (And Motorsport in general) content.

  6. I don’t really care either way, but I’m surprised if Friday practice sessions indeed become 90 min long again since they got shortened by 30 min for a reason.

    I don’t share COTD’s suggestion on teams freely choosing which three compounds they’d bring to each event.
    Possibly unintended consequences if some were extremely aggressive with their choice.

    1. Strange that:

      A public broadcaster’s site reported the Zak Brown news conference. But nothing about it here…

      The rumour about Friday practice sessions returning to 90 minutes each. This was reported by a regular contributor to this site. Not on here, but 𝗮𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 site…

  7. I’m glad Albon is back.
    I’m not bothered in the least about the sprint races taking a year off.
    and I agree with COTD that the more manufactures in any department makes for more interest … at least I think that’s what you basically said @Red-andy: ;)

  8. I’m getting a bit worried about the cable car gondola running over part of the Miami track, as the cars will pass closely underneath them at about 160mph. The upward aero wash resulting would certainly not have been part of the load case for the cable cars, and I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody has bothered quantitatively analysing this effect, which would be fairly tricky to do. I do hope they at least close them to the public during the sessions, although that would mean they’re lighter, so more susceptible to the resulting aero wash. Hopefully there is a section of cable without any cars on it which can be parked above the track during sessions.

    You can’t see them in the videos above, but I spotted them in the following in car simulation:

Comments are closed.