The bellows fell for Romain Grosjean
Bitter disappointment for Romain Grosjean, the honeymoon between him and Indycar seems to be over. Having started in 2021 after his recovery following the crash in Bahrain in 2020, Romain Grosjean received an excellent reception from the public and quickly acclimatized to Indycar. Three podiums in his first season, a promotion to Andretti in 2022 and a promising start to the 2023 season with two pole positions, two second places in the first 4 rounds and even a victory missed by nothing…and then nothing.
Since the Indianapolis Road Grand Prix in May, the former Lotus and Haas driver has only been in the top 10 once. Not spared by the lack of success, he was nevertheless involved in numerous racing incidents and failed qualifying, which ended up exasperating some of his peers and then the team, apparently annoyed by a driver who would always be looking for apologies.
After yet another disappointing race at Portland, where he was eliminated prematurely in a collision for which he was not responsible, Romain Grosjean is therefore well and truly “out” of the Andretti team. A video made the buzz on social networks, showing the French pilot curtly arguing with some of the staff. Michael Andretti confirmed his replacement in 2024 by Marcus Ericsson, lamenting that Romain Grosjean “did too much” on the track and tended to overdrive: “Romain tends to attack whatever the circumstances, regrets Andretti. Instead of ensuring a place of honour, he takes unnecessary risks and finds himself in scabrous situations. It’s frustrating for him and for us. Tensions had already arisen between Andretti riders last year, and Grosjean hasn’t just made friends in the peloton, but this time around his chronic lack of results got the better of his place.
Grosjean confirmed his departure, but clarified that “teams are talking to me” and that he “will get back on his feet”. And anyway, he is engaged in Lamborghini’s LMDh program which starts next year.
Simon Pagenaud still recovering
It’s more problematic and complicated for Simon Pagenaud, who was the victim of an impressive cabriole on the Mid-Ohio circuit during which he had carried out a violent series of rolls. Although he came out standing, he suffered a violent concussion during this crash which led the doctors to ban him from driving again until further notice. Still not recovered, the French still has to continue his convalescence, longer than expected. The 2016 indycar champion and 2019 Indy 500 winner was having a very tough time at Meyer Shank Racing anyway, having failed to get a top 10 in 8 races.
Pagenaud will devote himself entirely to his recovery: “I work with an excellent team of doctors and I am progressing. The doctors advise me to take more time to allow me to recover 100%. Following the accident, I keep symptoms I am working on post-concussion, but this type of recovery varies from person to person I would like to do what I love and drive my car, but the accident was very violent and forces me to focus primarily on my health and my recovery.” In the meantime, it is the Swedish Felix Rosenqvist who will occupy his bacquet in 2024.