Romain Grosjean is heading to the NTT IndyCar Series and will race on the road and street tracks with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing.
Grosjan, who made the announcement in Europe on Wednesday, said that he had been talking to the team even before his crash in Bahrain, with the aim being to do all the races, but he said the accident changed his outlook—at least for now.
“I was in contact a couple of weeks before Imola,” Grosjean said. “And Dale (Coyne) made us an offer. Originally I was going to do the full season, but obviously Bahrain happened and for a moment I thought I was dead.
“Being a father of three kids it doesn’t feel the right thing for my kids and my wife. Maybe there are options for short tracks but not super speedways. I don’t think I can risk that. But in the future? It’s always hard to predict. After the accident my manager (Martin Reiss) said “Let’s forget IndyCar” but I still want to do it. The risk is still there. Motorsport is always going to be risky. What level do you accept? Maybe in the future I will do it. I don’t know.”
For now Grosjean says he is learning.
“I will be a rookie in IndyCar,” he says. “I’ve done 200 GPs in F1 but I will be a rookie. The last time a drive a similar car was probably back in 2011 in GP2. There is a lot of learn, the circuits first of all. I am not expecting to win Race 1. But I have been talking a lot to Simon Pagenaud and Marcus Ericsson and I’ve watched a lot of IndyCar on Youtube.”
Will there be other racing as well?
“WEC is on the list for the future,” he says. “But I will be based in Europe so I’ll be doing a lot of travelling. Endurance racing is something that I am keen to do in the future. I have to Kevin Magnussen after Daytona and he loved it.”
There is also the question of a test with Mercedes, which was offered after his crash.
“Yes, I am still keen to jump in a Mercedes,” he says. “To have an understanding of the car. But at the moment there are flat out building the new cars and I won’t phone right now. I’m going to the U.S. in 15 days to learn about IndyCar and I will call at some point. “
In terms of his injuries, Grosjean says that the problems are largely over.
“My left hand is most damaged,” he says. “My right hand is good. It is almost fully recovered but the new skin is pink new and tight so I need to work on mobility. There was also a ligament that needed surgery, but that is quite stable. But I need to be careful with the sun.”
“I think that F1 is a closed book,” he admits. “I’m more than happy if there are opportunities in F1. Life is short and I want to have the chance to say no… There was a before and an after and for sure I see life a bit differently. You always tend to go back to how you were but there will always be a scar on my hands and a scar on my brain but not such a big one in my head. But I understand more about life and how quickly it can go away. IndyCar was the choice of my heart. I enjoy racing. The kids and wife they understand that I am a racer at heart and one day I’ll be done with motorsport, but not just yet.”
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