INDIANAPOLIS — Romain Grosjean showed last year that he can compete with some of the best the IndyCar has to offer a year ago, and he didn’t even compete in every race.
The Formula One veteran ran just the road and street circuits in his rookie season with Dale Coyne with one oval race at WWT Raceway outside St. Louis.
This year he is all in on the NTT IndyCar Series, signing a lucrative deal with Andretti Autosport, and plans to compete in both oval and road/street course races in 2022.
“Yes, last year I came in IndyCar not knowing if I was going to like the championship if I was going to like the car, the tracks, the American life,” said Grosjean. “Everyone is happy. I come with one of the best teams probably in the world, and on paper, I’ve got all the ingredients that we need to be able to fight at the front.”
Grosjean joked that his son asked him what his goal was for the 2022 season.
“I want big,” he laughed. “I want seven podiums. I hope I’m not going to disappoint him.”
There is no avoiding the comparisons between IndyCar and Formula One for someone like Grosjean. Having competed in F1 for over a decade before leaving the series after the 2020 season, Grosjean believes IndyCar has a huge opportunity to capitalize on the momentum it’s building, especially internationally.
“I know France last year did 100 percent on viewing (on television) so they doubled what they were doing, so that’s
great. Still not Formula 1, but it’s getting there,” Grosjean said. “I think there’s many other things that can be done, and the beauty with IndyCar is it’s open for everyone to come in.”
Grosjean is also eager to get his first taste of the Indianapolis 500 but admits he doesn’t quite know what to expect even after having completed his rookie orientation program back in October testing.
“I believe the Indy 500 as long as you haven’t discovered it you don’t really know what it is, so it’s hard to be excited for something that you don’t know,” he said. “But also I know what everyone tells me about it.”
“I’ve been living a lot of time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I absolutely love the place. I’ve got a good record with it with two podiums (on the road course). Hopefully that keeps going, and that will be great.”