Wether you believe it or not, the Phoenix has a real shot at some race wins and maybe even an Indycar championship this year. This year Romain Grosjean moves from Dale Coyne Racing, where he made his debut in Indycar, to the Andretti Autosport's No. 28 DHL Honda. I would have to believe that his commitment to ovals this year is in direct correlation to his replacement of full time racer Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Romain was front page news back in 2020 when he suffered a horrendous crash. Through no fault of his own he spun off of the Bahrain race track and into a crash fence that resembled an I-95 guardrail. The 67 g crash split the car in two and caused a massive fire that engulfed the car. For what seemed like forever, Romain struggled to get out of the car. Finally a helmet pops up from the flames, and a single shoed Grosjean is helped from the car. After losing his F1 seat that year, a whole heap of rehab and surgeries, and some luck, he found himself a memeber of the Dale Coyne Racing team.
Even in his first season Romain learned quick. He was quoted as saying, “It's tough driving those cars, very much in a different way than Formula 1." He goes on to describe the F1 car as an all over easier car to drive. "The only thing you fight in Formula 1 is the G-forces. Here you actually fight the heaviness of the car physically. It's very physical, but I don’t mind it, it’s quite cool," he details. This ability to learn fast resulted in Grosjean showing very well in his rookie year. He secured a pole position and 3 podiums. He was consistently placing inside of the top 10, and he was able to show his agressive style by making some very memorable passes.
But back to the question, is he good? When Romain came into F1 in 2009 with Renault he was, how can I put this, atrocious. Yes the team was nothing special, and he wasn't even that far off of his teammate, but that is no excuse for finishing 23rd. It resulted in his exit from F1 in 2010. In 2012 he made his comback to F1 with Lotus. His first two years back in the series saw him gain 10 podiums. After his first two years he had a gradual fall off, finding himself joined by "Crashtor" Maldonado and joining newly purchased team Haas.
Truth of the matter is, Grosjean is nothing more than a mid- level Formula 1 driver. We have seen a positive looking splash from Romain in the past. I fear that Grosjean is on the up swing at the start of his career in Indycar, but runs the risk of a regression just as we saw in F1. He does look more at home in an Indycar seat, but Andretti Racing hasn't had much to show the last few seasons, and Grosjean could very much turn into Hunter-Reay.
By now you probably caught that I have no faith in Romain Grosjean. He is very exciting to watch, so as a fan I love seeing him on the track. As someone attempting to predict the future, I have this overwhelming feeling that he will have his best years within the next 2-3 years and then slide. At this point in his career I guess that might be the idea. Give the push for the next few years and see if a championship can be had. If not, he got to race and have fun in America for the next few years on a storied team in Indycar. Not that bad of a deal I guess.
Romain Grosjean is good enough in Indycar to be dangerous. We will have to wait and see if Andretti gives him a car to work with, and if he can be consistent over the course of a season. I'm happy he is part of arguably the best motorsport series in the world. Without a doubt I am cheering for Romain to win a championship. It would be the best way to cap and interesting and exciting career. Good luck to the entire Andretti Team. Need them to show some form and make this season a three way battle.