Romain Grosjean is understood to be close to signing a deal with Dale Coyne Racing to compete in the 2021 IndyCar season.
The Frenchman’s Formula 1 career came to a premature end as a result of his massive crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix late last year, and he is still recovering from the burns he sustained to his hands in the accident. Throughout his recovery, though, he has maintained that he wants to race in 2021, and RACER understands talks with IndyCar teams now have him on the verge of an agreement with Coyne. Grosjean declined to comment on the move when reached by RACER this week.
Grosjean was linked to a drive with A.J. Foyt Racing before that went to Dalton Kellett, but he is now poised to drive for Coyne, and it is understood that talks have focused on a full-season deal rather than solely the street and road courses. However, with final details yet to be confirmed, there’s still a chance Grosjean will not race the three ovals at Texas, Indianapolis and World Wide Technology Raceway.
The 34-year-old had emerged alongside the likes of 2017 Coyne driver Ed Jones, Charlie Kimball and Pietro Fittipaldi – who replaced the injured Grosjean at Haas for the final two races of the F1 season last year – as the leading contenders for what are now two vacancies at the team following confirmation of Santino Ferruci’s move to NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and Alex Palou’s switch to Ganassi.
Confirmation of Grosjean’s move could come as early as next week, which would allow the Frenchman to use up to two rookie test days on top of the usual testing schedule ahead of the planned season-opener at Barber on April 11.
It’s not yet clear if Grosjean would be engineered by his countryman Olivier Boisson – who looked after the No.18 Coyne-Vasser-Sullivan entry of Santino Ferrucci last year – or the newly-promoted Ross Bunnell.
Should the deal be finalized, Grosjean will join fellow former F1 drivers Alexander Rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais on the grid, with the latter having also returned to IndyCar with Coyne back in 2011.