Author of an excellent first season in IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing, Romain Grosjean will take part in the 2022 campaign within the Andretti Autosport team, in the # 28 single-seater previously occupied by Ryan Hunter-Reay. And the challenge is great for the former Formula 1 driver: confined to races on road circuits (as well as an excursion on the Gateway short oval) in 2021, Grosjean will visit all the tracks on the calendar in 2022, including the Indianapolis Superspeedway.
Fortunately for Grosjean, Andretti is one of the most emblematic structures of the IndyCar, and benefits from great expertise and also great success on the track, as evidenced by his six victories at the Indianapolis 500.
« Their way of working and functioning makes [d’Andretti] a very impressive team « , Grosjean said. « But it’s also a very open team. They are very interested in what we were doing with the car. [chez Dale Coyne Racing] and how we got to be so fast. «
« I also like the fact that we can stand on our own. It’s not super strict. I feel we have all the resources we need but we can also work on our own. If that doesn’t work, we have the possibility of falling back on [les réglages] from someone else. «
Romain Grosjean will take part in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 2022 as part of his full-time program in the United States. The Frenchman will thus benefit from the experience of his two teammates, Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi. In addition, as part of the technical partnership between Andretti and Meyer Shank Racing, Grosjean will work closely with Simon Pagenaud and Helio castroneves, respectively winner in 2019 and quadruple winner (2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021) of the 500 Miles.
« I still have a lot to learn about ovals », Grosjean continued. « That’s why we have a driver like Helio, who won [les 500 Miles] more than one time. You can win once on a fluke but do it twice, I doubt it. And to do it four times, you have to be really special! It’s great to be able to look at his data, see what he’s doing, so that you can then learn and do the same. «
Last week, Grosjean took part in the Rookie Orientation Program, a mandatory test for all new pilots who decide to tackle the famous Indianapolis 500 Miles. On this occasion, the French pilot was able to count on the wise advice of James hinchcliffe, poleman in Indianapolis in 2016, and Michael Andretti, owner of the eponymous team and 1991 CART champion.
« I had some good explanations, some good tips, from the engineers », he explained. “Also, James Hinchcliffe came in the morning which I really appreciated. Michael was there too. These guys know what they’re talking about so it was great to be with them and know what to do. . «
Asked about the advice given by the two men, Grosjean replied: « Watching the windsocks, you don’t think about it if you don’t know it, don’t take a too low trajectory and touch the vibrator, test the brakes before returning to the pits. […] here [à Indianapolis], you can do 20 or 30 laps without touching the brakes. And when you come back to the booth, they’re very cold and not at all friendly. «