Former Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean thinks he would be near the top of the list should an opportunity open up in Formula 1 this season.
Grosjean this week is in the United States, where his burned hands have healed to the point at which he can test the Indy car he will race on road courses and street circuits in 2021 for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing. But Grosjean thinks the COVID-19 situation, in which drivers must sit out the races if and when they contract the virus, is a clear potential opportunity for a return to Formula 1 for a one-off, if needed.
“Of all the drivers who don’t currently have a regular seat, Kevin (Magnussen), Alex Albon and I are the most experienced,” Grosjean said. “We all know how a modern F1 car behaves. So yes, I would expect one of us to get a call.”
At the same time, the 34-year-old Grosjean, who made 179 F1 starts, says that his full-time Formula 1 career is almost certainly over. He told the Swiss broadcaster SRF that it’s therefore the perfect time to perhaps get in touch with some of his former F1 rivals in order to begin friendships.
“There are only 20 drivers in Formula 1 and everyone wants to get a contract with the best team,” said Grosjean. “In such a situation, it is difficult to be friends with someone. But after your career ends, the relationship with the drivers can change. You have the same hobbies, you have traveled together and experienced a lot together, so you will definitely become friends.
“But when you are competing with someone, you want to take his place. I have an excellent relationship with Sebastian Vettel—I deeply respect him – but we can only become friends now. When he was at Ferrari, what did I want? His place. If I got a call from Ferrari, what would I do if I was friends with Sebastian? I would call him back and warn him to be careful.
“So in such a situation it is difficult. When you’re in Formula 1, you respect your opponent, but friendship can only begin after the end of your career.”
Romain Grosjean will be racing in IndyCar this year, but it sounds like his heart is still in Formula 1. What’s your prediction for Grosjean’s 2021 IndyCar effort? Can he win a race in IndyCar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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