Former Formula One champion Mario Andretti praised IndyCar rookie Romain Grosjean after his first full season in the series, saying he is getting a lot of people’s attention.
In 2020, Grosjean finally ended a career that lasted 10 years in the elite (9 full seasons and partial 2009 season), and made the transition to IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing. And it looks like the Frenchman did enough in his debut IndyCar season to convince Michael Andretti to sign him for a two-year contract starting in 2022 with Andretti Autosport.
Michael Andretti’s father, and 1978 F1 champion Mario, has given his thoughts on Grosjean’s IndyCar debut and believes the former F1 driver has a bright future there.
Andretti was speaking to RacingNews365.com and explained why he thinks Grosjean has done well in his rookie season in IndyCar.
“IndyCar has been more of a specification series, it is a specification series, [and] it gives the individual a different feeling coming from Formula 1, ”he said. “In F1, unless you’re in one of the top three teams, you don’t stand a chance in hell to be able to deliver really good results. «
Andretti added: “But you can see Romain adopted him, because he feels he has the same car as all the regulars who have scored. He immediately feels competitive and that gives you a big boost in confidence.
It goes without saying that Grosjean’s career in F1 was a case of ‘what could have been’, joining the elite in the middle of the 2009 season with Renault F1 (replacing Nelson Piquet Jr.), but dropping out of want. the end of the performance year.
He then joined F1 in 2012 with Lotus F1 for 4 years, where he showed a few flashes of that promised pace that put him on F1’s radar, but never consistently. Then there were those high-profile crashes he had, which led to a racing ban for the 2015 Italian Grand Prix after his infamous first-lap pile-up at Spa that year.
He spent the years between 2016 and 2020 at Haas F1, having started with promises in his first year with the American team, but then went into continuous decline, until he ended his career in F1 with a fiery crash in Bahrain 2020, an accident that the Frenchman had the chance to walk away from.
Andretti senior, however, believes that despite his lackluster F1 career, Grosjean has what it takes to be successful in IndyCar.
« I’m not surprised at how well it went, because if you look at Romain’s career, he’s a force to be reckoned with, without a doubt, » he admitted.
“Honestly, anywhere on the court you can have a chance to win, in IndyCar. «
Andretti then said: “He got a lot of people’s attention, there’s no doubt about it.
“He will be a player. I think he will enjoy this chapter of his career, ”he concluded.
In his first IndyCar season, Grosjean finished 15th overall, scoring a pole position, six top ten and four top five, including a second career best in both races this season on the road course of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. .