GENEVA, Switzerland. — Former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean has confirmed that he will race a part-time schedule in the NTT IndyCar Series for the upcoming 2021 season.
Grosjean has signed a road and street course only deal with Dale Coyne Racing and will pilot the No. 51 entry in a partnership with Rick Ware Racing.
The 35-year-old spent the last decade racing for the now-defunct Lotus F1 team from 2012 to 2015, before signing with the Haas F1 Team in 2016, which was its first season in F1. He stayed with Haas until last season.
“I’m super happy and delighted,” Grosjean said in a press conference streamed on his Twitch channel. “I think it’s going to be a nice challenge and a nice chapter in my next career part.”
It’s a scaled-back deal from what he had originally wanted to do in IndyCar, which was to compete for the full championship.
However, late in the 2020 F1 season, he was badly injured in a fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix. That crash made him rethink his decision and he ultimately chose not to compete on oval circuits this season.
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“There may be an option where I could look at Gateway, the short-track,” Grosjean said on competing on ovals. “But the super-speedways, I really don’t feel like I could risk that for my kids or my wife.”
This means Grosjean has no plans to race in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. For now, Grosjean plans to compete on all 13 road and street course circuits scheduled for the 2021 IndyCar season, including the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
But, Grosjean said he is open to dipping his toe in the water with super-speedways. He said he would like to take part in the scheduled IndyCar testing session on the IMS oval set for Mar. 1. Other than that he said oval races are a “definite no” for this season.
Grosjean plans to stay based in Europe during the IndyCar season and will do a lot of traveling to and from Europe and the United States. He said he would like to stay in Europe in order to keep his options open about possible driving opportunities in sportscars or even testing opportunities in Formula One.