Podcast: Grosjean on IndyCar, Mercedes test, crash flashbacks & more
The F1 Beyond The Grid podcast has Grosjean speaking on his IndyCar career, plus the upcoming Mercedes test, flashbacks of his accident and more.
To begin latest F1 Beyond The Grid podcast, Tom Clarkson asked Grosjean if IndyCar had always been his dream landing spot, where the Frenchman admitted that he perceived the series to be one which is primarily run on ovals, before learning that the championship visited ovals with much greater frequency - a fact which, he admits, changed his thoughts on the championship.
Asked if ovals were a consideration down the line, Grosjean was quick to assert that super speedways would not be in his future, though he appeared more open to the idea of short ovals such as Gateway. He does, however, still say that he has ambitions to compete in events like Le Mans: "I'm not done," he tells Clarkson.
A few differences Grosjean noted between F1 and IndyCar were the 40% decrease in power from F1 to IndyCar, and a similar loss in downforce. But the former Haas driver also says that IndyCar's tyres are more enjoyable to race with, despite having no tyre warmers.
Asked about the talent in IndyCar, Grosjean praised the likes of Colton Herta but seemed unsure of whether or not the young American would thrive in the vastly different culture of F1 and made note of the different driving style required to drive Formula 1 machinery.
Grosjean went on to say, in surprising fashion, that it was Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin who impressed him the most out of any of his IndyCar competitors, citing the three-time Supercar champion's remarkable second-place finish in his first ever oval race at Texas.
After this, the 35-year-old explained in response to a question on how his upcoming Mercedes test came about that by explaining that he was offered a test by Mercedes assuming he was ultimately unable to race at the Abu Dhabi GP. Grosjean expressed gratitude at the effort.
Having had a seat fitting at Mercedes' headquarters, Grosjean said that team culture and facilities immediately stuck out to him as factors which have no doubt contributed to the team's enormous success over the turbo-hybrid era.
After this, Grosjean was asked more about the accident itself, which he says was a positive experience on the basis that it gave him greater perspective. The Frenchman admitted, though, to experiencing occasional, non-traumatic flashbacks of the event.
Grosjean went on to talk about his family road trip on the eastern seaboard of the US, in which his family spent days on the road in his 18-meter RV. RVs contribute to a "cool atmosphere" in IndyCar, he says - where he also says drivers are more fun.
Asked about the 2021 cars, Grosjean was unsure of whether or not the current cars are tougher to drive, and seemed uncertain. However, the Frenchman says it is clear that the rules were introduced to slow Mercedes down and spark a battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the result of which has been "mega" according to Grosjean.
After giving his thoughts on sprint qualifying, George Russell's appointment as GPDA director, Grosjean's episode ended.
An episode by F1: Beyond The Grid
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]