Join Romain Grosjean as He Tests His IndyCar
Here's everything you need to know about the Frenchman's first foray to the top American open-wheeler series
Romain Grosjean is an IndyCar driver now. After signing with Dale Coyne Racing, Grosjean has just completed 83 laps in a test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, and you can watch one of those laps below, from inside the visor itself.
Admittedly, it's not super-great footage, but that's the compromise that may arise from having a tiny camera being obscured by at two more layers of glass. But the video isn't too muddy as to obscure everything -- one can still see how Grosjean tackles the track turn-by-turn.
As for his initial impressions, it's great! “It felt very normal,” he said, comparing it to a jump from Formula Renault to GP2. “It’s a different car, a different position, but apart from that, everything felt great and normal." He did find the lack of power steering a little challenging -- "my biceps started hurting a bit" -- and even spun out at Turn 1 -- but lauded the fact that he can "really feel the car."
The time sheets reflect this: coming into the new Dallara IR-18 cold, he's only about 0.9s off the fastest lap set by 2020 IndyCar Rookie of The Year Rinus VeeKay (fun name).
"I guess you can drive it a little bit more with your driving style with the way you apply the brake and your turning and so on." This while still feeling a bit sore on his left hand.
His biggest surprise, however, was actually on the paddock, and how open and inviting it was compared to the ultra-secretive garages in F1. "I really like it. You get to go into the pit lane, and I was talking to Sebastien Bourdais, and Takuma (Sato) came over, and we had a good chat next to his car."
"The talking is made on track, and whenever you remove your helmet it feels like everyone is friendly and likes to talk and chat,” Grosjean adds.
Behind the scenes, however, there are some unsavoury developments. Apparently, Gene Haas pulled his sponsorship for Romain's entry to IndyCar after his fiery crash at Bahrain, which must sting even if Gene has his reasons for doing so. It certainly caused alarm bells to ring on Reddit, and called this move into question. Still, Grosjean is here to stay for awhile, and will be contesting all the non-oval rounds of the 2021 season.