Romain Grosjean gets his Fairytale Formula One Ending
Romain Grosjean's F1 tale is about to come full circle, and it couldn't finish a better way.
Six months ago, the world of F1 was flipped upside down when Romain Grosjean ended his Bahrain Grand Prix in an accident of massive proportions, resulting in his car splitting in half and exploding upon impact. Grosjean very thankfully survived the incident and miraculously extracted himself from the car with help from the medical staff and on-site marshals, but it was a very sad way for the much-adored French driver to end his career.
Shortly after the incident, a promise to Grosjean was made. A promise that put Grosjean in the seat of a world champion-winning Mercedes as a means to end his career in F1 on a particularly high note. That promise came from the top, none other than Mercedes top man Toto Wolff, as a way of putting a solid career of ten podium finishes and endless good memories to rest. Grosjean was understandably committed to making sure such a promise was carried out when the right time would come.
Fitting nicely into the Mercedes W10 (Mercedes AMG Petronas.)
Fast forward to the present day and Grosjean is more or less fully recovered, and back at the wheel of a racing car. Making a solid debut in the opening two rounds of the NTT Indycar Series in the US, fans of the series will recall Grosjean not being a part of the grid during the double-header oval course race in Texas last weekend. A lot of this is down to the fact that Grosjean explained he would not partake in the oval rounds of the championship, but part of that was that he was getting ready to announce his big news. He had been preparing to take up the promise and get behind the wheel of that Mercedes.
A few weeks ago, Grosjean revealed he was working with Mercedes in arranging the test, while just earlier today, both Grosjean and Mercedes were very pleased to announce that he had visited the factory and taken part in seat fittings in the Mercedes W10, ahead of his planned test with the team.
The arrangements of the test surfaced alongside the news this morning, and boy does it sound good. During the weekend of the upcoming French Grand Prix at Le Castellet at the end of June, the team will let Grosjean take to the circuit in the W10 for a few demonstration laps in front of his home crowd prior to the start of the race, while a full-day test in Lewis Hamilton's 2019 world title-winning machine after the Grand Prix takes place. What a way to leave your final memories in Formula 1.
The photos that were posted to social media were something of magic this morning. They showed Grosjean, still showing signs of the injuries to his hands from November's accident, looking as happy as a kid in a candy shop, all in Mercedes overalls. It is strange to see Romain in the black Petronas branded suit, but it's something that just spells brilliance. Waking up to this news this morning made the start to my day so much better and it has been something that I've thought about fondly since seeing the news. I, like many, was slightly bummed that Romain's F1 career could've finished on such a bad note, but I am exceptionally happy that such a career will end with himself getting the opportunity his tally of nine-and-a-half seasons in F1 never really gave him, a taste of a championship-winning team and an all-conquering F1 machine.
Come the French Grand Prix in June, it will be an event that will be no doubt an emotional one, but it will be one of those moments in F1 where we will think back in years to come and remember it as a truly iconic moment. A moment once again, where the entire sport bands together and becomes one. A moment where the sport stands together and celebrates one of its own.
Well done Mercedes. Merci Romain.