Newly arrived at Andretti Autosport, Romain Grosjean completed his first practice session at the Indianapolis 500.
« On the oval, I have to learn everything», Confided Romain Grosjean, Wednesday, after his very first practice session on the famous circuit of the 500 Miles of Indianapolis, at the wheel of the Honda N.28 of his new team Andretti Autosport.
The French driver is coming out of a rookie season in IndyCar, with Dale Coyne Racing, which saw him race mainly on urban and road circuits, at the end of which he climbed three times on the podium and achieved a pole position.
And if he took part in his first race on the oval circuit, in August, at the Gateway Grand Prix, placing 14th there, he had to pass a test event at « Indy», In accordance with the program imposed on novice pilots in this championship, to validate their participation in the next edition in May 2022.
In short, a return to school for the one who has all the same 179 Grand Prix starts in Formula 1.
« The sensations on ovals are new to me, even though I have already done a race», He declared afterwards. « I just feel like I’m not particularly comfortable. It’s not like road or city circuits, on which I know what to do and I know how to progress. Here I have to learn everything.«
According to the imposed schedule, he had to complete ten laps between 205 and 210 mph (330-338 km / h), 15 laps between 210 and 215 mph (338-346 km / h) and 15 laps above 215 mph (346 km / h). He had almost finished the last session when the rain arrived on the legendary Indianapolis route, 2.5 miles (4 km) long.
IndyCar officials, however, estimated that the 35-year-old driver, who survived a terrible crash at the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix last year, passed a successful test, as did American Jimmie Johnson, seven. both NASCAR champion, and making his IndyCar debut next year. Both will have the opportunity to finish their remaining rounds in April.
Grosjean, who had said he did not want to race on oval circuits, the most dangerous in IndyCar, has ambitions of victory and therefore changed his mind. « You can’t be in the top 10 if you don’t do all the shopping. They really want me to fight for the championship, they want me up front and I’m comfortable with that decision« , he said.