Of the many talents possessed by race engineer Olivier Boisson, the ability to make speed with his countrymen behind the steering wheel has been a bankable commodity for years, and with Romain Grosjean, his latest charge, the French Connection will continue when they move to Andretti Autosport for 2022.
For Boisson, who rates among the most respected engineers in the NTT IndyCar Series paddock, Grosjean is the latest son of France — by way of Switzerland — to benefit from his supreme understanding of vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics and, in particular, damper development and tuning.
It was at the former KVSH Racing team where Boisson and Le Mans native Sebastien Bourdais combined for pole positions and wins, and with the four-time Champ Car champion’s move to Dale Coyne Racing, Boisson followed, lending his engineering skills to support Craig Hampson with the aforementioned damping wisdom that added more wins to their record.
“Huge achievement, and obviously going with [Boisson] to Andretti,” Bourdais said. “It can only be a great relationship, moving to more resources and better cars, so it’s going to be quite interesting to see what happens next year.”
Armed with a bigger budget and teammates in Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi to push him at every step, the pairing of Grosjean and Boisson could take another big step forward with the No. 28 Honda.
“IndyCar is a category where the relationship between the engineer and driver is key,” the current Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing driver said. “The car, you can set it up the way you want, and sometimes the changes you make can make a huge difference to the way you drive the car. With Olivier this year, we’ve created a very, very strong relationship. The alchemy worked.
“He came to see me last winter in Switzerland, because he was visiting his family not far from where I live, and the relationship has been really, really good; very successful. So yes, I want to keep working with Olivier, because it has been great fun. We’ve found that sweet spot between being serious and also enjoying what we do, which is not easy to find in a very professional environment.”