- Image: Nick Jacuby Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Romain Grosjean said that he "felt a bit like Zanardi" at Laguna Seca

His pass on Jimmie Johnson at the corkscrew was compared by many to Alex Zanardi's pass on Bryan Herta at the same place 25 years prior

Romain Grosjean has been one of the rising stars of 2021's IndyCar season and last weekend's race at Laguna Seca proved that once again. The French-Swiss driver managed to pull off an astonishing drive, getting himself onto the third spot of the podium from a 13th place start and pulling off some incredible (and in some cases very brave!) moves on multiple drivers. These included passes on 6-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and a somewhat controversial move on 7-time Nascar Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson at the famous corkscrew chicane.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people compared Grosjean's move on Johnson to the famous pass Alex Zanardi did at the same chicane to Bryan Herta (the father of that weekend's race winner Colton Herta) 25 years ago. That's something that Grosjean himself commented on. "I had a lot of passes on the Corkscrew, which was good," Grosjean told Autosport. "Felt a bit like Zanardi, which is not a bad thing."

Grosjean then went on to talk about that controversial moment with Jimmie Johnson (who was under team orders to defend against Grosjean to protect the 2nd place finish and championship lead of his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou). "I'm sorry we made contact with Jimmie... I was definitely going in! I think Jimmie probably didn't see me. He was pushing hard to protect [second-placed team-mate] Alex [Palou] from me, which is the game. So we made a bit of contact."

Jimmie Johnson also told his side of the encounter to Autosport, stating that his main concern was that he could have ended up getting a penalty for the incident. Fortunately that wasn't to be, as Johnson ended up getting a career-best finish of 17th in the IndyCar series. "I thought our day was over," explained Johnson. "I couldn’t believe he threw it in that late on me. Luckily we both saved it! I thought I’d lost my wrist too, as the [steering] wheel went whipping around. I was worried about a penalty, but instead we got a career-best finish."

Rumours are currently abounding over where Romain Grosjean could be in IndyCar next year. As of August this year, there have been reports strongly linking him to a move to Andretti Autosport as well the potential of him continuing on with Dayle Coyne Racing for another year. Jimmie Johnson, meanwhile, is set to compete on ovals for the first time in IndyCar next year as he passed his oval rookie test in Texas earlier in the year.

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Comments (2)

  • Not to disparage Ben, but when he reported on RG8 crashing that Civic it was a frontpager, but few will acknowledge the banger result he got once the flag drops at Indycar. Shows what the commentariat cares more about, which is a damn bloody shame.

      2 months ago
    • If the rumours about Grosjean switching to Andretti next year are true, he's absolutely deserved it. Him and Scotty Mac have been incredible in their rookie seasons in IndyCar.

        2 months ago