For those who follow Formula 1 (Like me :D), you might of knew that Romain Grosjean was involved in a horrific crash during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. His car had crashed into the barrier at 137MPH (~220KMPH) and exploded into a fireball.
The crash had left fears of the Frenchman to not be able to return to racing as his hands were badly burnt from the incident.
On Wednesday 3rd February 2021, he had announced that he will be returning to racing and will be competing in the 2021 IndyCar series for Dale Coyne Racing. He also spoke about his new career path which includes a discussion on why he won’t be doing the Indy 500 and the chances of him returning to Formula 1.
"I'm super happy and delighted," he said on Twitch as he explained his move to IndyCar. "It's going to be a nice challenge and a nice chapter for my next career path."
Unlike his other Formula 1 fellow racing driver, Fernando Alonso, Grosjean will not be following in his footsteps on joining the Indianapolis 500 or any oval track events in general as his Bahrain crash had made him think twice on racing those circuits.
Image via The Guardian
I don’t blame him, those oval circuits have also cost the lives of a few drivers in the past. Motorsports is a dangerous sport and should not be taken for granted despite the amount of technology that packs into developing the vehicles.
To begin with, the future of the Frenchman in Formula 1 was already in question as there were teams starting to shuffle their drivers and internal management. And unfortunately for his former team, Haas F1 Team, they had dropped both Grosjean and his teammate Kevin Magnussen.
Image via GrandPrix247
Grosjean explained that he was in Contact with Dale Coyne before the Bahrain incident. In fact, he had received an offer before the Imola race which was on the 1st of November 2020.
“I was going to do the full championship but then, obviously, Bahrain happened,” said Grosjean.
"For a moment I thought I was dead, in Bahrain, and being a father of three kids I need to be sensible in my decisions, in my choices in the future and at the minute I don't feel comfortable… for my kids and my wife, to race ovals – at least the speedways."
As for his injuries, his left hand is “98%” recovered but still can’t put on any racing gloves yet. "The left hand is the one that is the most damaged; the right is good," he said. He is also still working on rehab to get his thumb working and getting the mobility on it as the ligament had pulled away.
In an interview with Grosjean after his horrific crash, he mentioned that he ruled out the offer to drive in F1 unless it was right and jokingly said he wants to try the championship winning Mercedes car in 2020.
"I'm still very keen on jumping in the Mercedes F1 car for sure; it's an offer you cannot refuse. Just for me to have an understanding of the taste of that car and how it was working… but I won't bother Toto [Wolff, Mercedes F1 boss] right now. He can expect to get a phone call eventually," said Grosjean.
"One thing I've learned with my accident is that life is short, and I want to have the choice to say no to some things, and if that's being in Formula 1 to barely go out of Q1 once or twice a year, I think that chapter is closed for me and I would much rather look at other places where I can go race and potentially try to win races," he added.
Image via talkSPORTS
As a long time Formula 1 fan, I’m happy to see Grosjean back on his feet and will still have a future in racing.