Romain Grosjean would back ‘very special’ IndyCar rival to succeed in F1

Sam Cooper
Romain Grosjean wearing sunglasses. Texas, March 2022.

Andretti Autosport's Romain Grosjean looks to his side whilst wearing sunglasses at the Texas Motor Speedway. Texas, March 2022.

Romain Grosjean has named his surprise choice for an IndyCar driver who the Frenchman believes could do well in Formula 1.

The link between Formula 1 and IndyCar appears to get stronger year by year but for now, the driver moves have largely been in one direction.

Grosjean is one of many F1 drivers to switch to the American series but drivers taking the route the other way round have found life more tricky.

Colton Herta came close earlier this year when Red Bull sought to install him as Pierre Gasly’s replacement at AlphaTauri, only to be denied by the FIA due to Herta’s lack of superlicence points.

Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou are also IndyCar drivers and have both had a taste of life in an F1 car through McLaren, but with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri signed to the F1 team for the foreseeable future, their path also seems to have hit a wall.

Grosjean, who left F1 in 2020, said the example of Palou during the United States Grand Prix FP1 session was proof that the skill level between the two sets of drivers is closer than most people think.

“One of the best examples was when [Alex] Palou came to COTA to do FP1 for McLaren and on the same tyres as Lando [Norris] was just two or three tenths off, which is very, very good,”he told Motor Sport.

“For Colton the picture was bigger. He has got the capacity and speed to be in F1. But if you look at his career he has never won a championship, in Indy Lights or IndyCar. So I also understand why he doesn’t have the points for a superlicence.

“What I think is wrong is the amount of points we get in IndyCar. I think it should be at least at Formula 2 level, maybe more because the level is up there. There are some very fast drivers.”

Grosjean is not the only IndyCar driver to vent his rage at the lack of IndyCar superlicence points withO’Ward telling that the current system was a “joke.”

But the name that Grosjean said he believed was most deserving of a Formula 1 test is not one that is often mentioned, Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin.

“The guy that amazed me the most is Scott McLaughlin,” said Grosjesn. I think he should have a test in F1, he would be fast. That guy is very special.”

Grosjean will be again expanding his driving CV in 2023 as he competes in the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship.

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