MOTORSPORT: French driver Romain Grosjean made his first laps on Tuesday since the appalling accident in November
French driver Romain Grosjean made his first laps on Tuesday since the appalling accident in November which marked the end of his F1 career, in an Indycar, in which he will contest the championship in 2021.
” I felt right at home, ” he told a virtual press conference, after testing at the Barber Motorsports Park circuit in Alabama, where the season kicks off on April 18th.
” I had no apprehension, I just wanted to drive, ” added the Franco-Swiss driver, 34, who signed a contract with Dale Coyne Racing in Indycar.
“ The first few laps, my muscles weren’t very warm up, but it got better towards the end, which is a good sign, ” he said.
His tests were mainly marked by a spin from the first turn, with an exit from the track. He explained that a heel-toe (accelerating while braking during downshifting) had destabilized the car, ” whereas in Formula 1, that would stabilize it “.
” It was an instructive experience, after that I didn’t do it again and it was better “, he simply commented, his first tests allowing him precisely to acclimatize to his car but also to driving in Indycar in general. He thus underlined the better mechanical grip and lower power compared to Formula 1, even if the driving comfort was very good, according to him.
Wearing during his tests a helmet designed by his three children for what should have been his last F1 GP and which he will wear again during the first race of the IndyCar season, Romain Grosjean revealed that he had spoken to them a lot. lately, saying they were ” happy ” that he was back in competition.
On November 29, they watched on television their father surviving a terrible crash in Bahrain, managing to extricate himself from his flaming F1 28 seconds after it crashed at 220 km/h into a barrier of security and was cut in half.
” I saw death too closely, ” he told AFP at the time, both hands burned (the left more seriously), a sprained left ankle and bruises on this side of the body.
He said he still had a blister on the palm of his left hand which he did not ” really feel in the car “.
He will have to wait until April 18 for his first race with the start of the season at the Alabama Grand Prix. However, he will not compete in the oval races, including the Indianapolis 500, the most prestigious event in the series, which he considers too risky to impose on his family.
Grosjean joins two other ” Frenchies ” in the United States , Sébastien Bourdais, four-time ChampCar champion, the series that preceded the IndyCar (from 2004 to 2007), and Simon Pagenaud, crowned in IndyCar in 2016 and winner in 2019 of the 500 Miles from Indianapolis.