Romain Grosjean says his Bahrain crash changed his mind about tackling a full IndyCar programme for 2021, as he’ll skip the oval rounds. Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean is making the switch to IndyCar for 2021, taking up a seat in the No.51 Honda fielded by Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware.
Grosjean lost his seat at Haas for this season, with the American team replacing both him and teammate Kevin Magnussen in favour of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. With just a few weeks of his F1 career remaining, Grosjean had a ferocious crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix and he says that crash changed his mind about his approach to his 2021 racing plans.
Having spoken openly about facing death in the fiery crash, which resulted in him picking up burn injuries to both hands, Grosjean says he made his mind up to not take part in oval racing for now.
“Yes, 100%”, said Grosjean. “I got in contact with Dale Coyne before the Bahrain incident, I think the week before Imola or a couple of weeks before that. We got on very nicely, and he made an offer that I was going to do the full championship.”
“Then Bahrain happened and, for a moment, I thought I was dead.” Grosjean continued. Being a father of three kids, I have to be sensible in my decisions and choices for the future. The minute I don’t feel comfortable…not especially for me, but for my kids and my wife to risk ovals and speedways. There may be options I could look at like Gateway, the short track, but the superspeedways I don’t feel like I can risk it for my kids and my wife.”
While that is the situation as his IndyCar career begins with Dale Coyne Racing, Grosjean says that it’s not a blanket ban forever and that, as he finds himself adjusting to the cars and the series, he may reconsider.
“It’s hard to predict the future. The first text I got from my friend and manager Martin after the accident was ‘let’s forget about IndyCar’. After such a terrible day, you can understand that but then you say ‘I still want to do it.’ Ovals, I don’t know, and the risk is there. Motorsport is always going to be risky, and we know that from go-karts. But then it’s about what level you accept and, for now, ovals and superspeedways not in the least. Who knows in the future but, for now, it’s not in the question.”