Romain Grosjean says he was going to do the full IndyCar season this year before his life-threatening crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix changed his plans.
The Frenchman has announced he will do the road and street courses for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing in 2021 (livery scheme pictured above was released today via R8GESPORTS), making his debut in the IndyCar Series. Grosjean says he was going to do the whole championship but his decision to drop the ovals, or at least superspeedways, was “100%” influenced by the first-lap accident in what proved to be his final Formula 1 race for Haas at the end of November.
“I got in contact with Dale Coyne before the Bahrain incident — I think the week before Imola, or a couple of weeks before Imola — and we got on very nicely,” Grosjean said. “He made us an offer and I was going to do the full championships but then obviously Bahrain happened and for a moment I thought I was dead in Bahrain.
“Being a father of three kids I need to be sensible in my decisions, in my choices in the future, and at the minute I don’t feel comfortable. Not especially for me but more for my kids and my wife to risk ovals, at least the speedways. There may be options that I could look at (like) Gateway, but the superspeedways, I really don’t feel like I can risk that for my kids and my wife.
“Therefore I think to learn the championship already there are some good races. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube over the winter and it has been very interesting to see how the championship works and the difference with Formula 1.”
Grosjean admits he even considered scrapping his IndyCar plans altogether but balanced the risk he was willing to take to return to racing.
“It’s always very difficult to predict the future but let’s say the first text message I got from my friend and manager Martin (Reiss) after the accident was, ‘Let’s forget IndyCar,’ and obviously after such a shock and such a terrible day you can understand that. But then I said, ‘Well, I think it’s still possible — I still want to do it.’
“Ovals, yes I agree — it’s something I don’t know and obviously the risk is there, but the other races…. Motorsport is always going to be risky, don’t get me wrong — that we’ve known since we’re in go-karts — but then it’s, which level do you accept? For now, superspeedways are not on the list, but maybe in the future, who knows? But for now, no, it’s not in question.”