Romain Grosjean: Former F1 driver to race in US-based IndyCar series

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Roman Grosjean with bandaged hands talking to Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner
Roman Grosjean suffered burns to his hands and extensive bruising but was otherwise unhurt in a crash in his final F1 race in Bahrain

Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean is to race in the US-based IndyCar series in 2021.

Grosjean's F1 career ended with a fiery crash at November's Bahrain Grand Prix.

He will drive for Dale Coyne Racing in selected races - on the road and street tracks, avoiding the high-speed ovals.

"I had different options for this season and IndyCar Racing was definitely my favourite one," said the Franco-Swiss, 34. "Although I'm not ready yet to take on the ovals."

He added: "IndyCar has a much more level playing field than what I have been used to in my career so far. It will be exciting to challenge for podiums and wins again."

He had an F1 career of nine and a half seasons for the Renault, Lotus and Haas teams, and scored 10 podium finishes.

Grosjean suffered serious burns to his hands in his crash in Bahrain, in which he spent nearly 30 seconds in an inferno before managing to extricate himself from his Haas car.

"My left hand is still healing, but we are just about ready to get back into the race car and to start this next chapter of my career," he added.

Grosjean's first test for Dale Coyne will be at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on 22 February, alongside team-mate Ed Jones, the 2017 IndyCar rookie of the year.

The first race is scheduled to take place at Barber on 18 April.

Grosjean had previously expressed scepticism about racing in IndyCars, because he thought the championship was largely on oval tracks.

But when he discovered most races were on road and street courses, the same type of tracks as F1, his interest heightened.

Team owner Dale Coyne said: "We've been talking to Romain for some time now, even before his accident at Bahrain.

"He has shown interest in the IndyCar series for the past several months and we're very happy that he has chosen to pursue his career with us and excited to welcome a driver with his pedigree."

Coyne is a veteran team owner who has previous experience of giving F1 refugees time in Indycar - among his alumni are ex-F1 drivers Mauro Baldi, Roberto Moreno, Christian Danner, Cristiano Da Matta, Sebastian Bourdais and the late Justin Wilson, who was killed in an accident at the Pocono oval in 2015.

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