Grosjean to make Mercedes F1 cameo
Wednesday 5th May, 2021 - 5:32pm
Romain Grosjean will get the opportunity to drive a Mercedes Formula 1 car in a special test day next month.
The veteran of 179 grand prix starts has not steered an F1 car since his dramatic, fiery crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix last November.
That marked an abrupt end to his five-year tenure at Haas, having previously raced for Renault and Lotus.
Having recovered following a stint in hospital, the French-Swiss driver has embarked on a new chapter this year in the American IndyCar Series.
He will enjoy a brief return to F1, however, driving the W10 that Lewis Hamilton took to the 2019 title on two occasions.
Those outings will come in the form of demonstration laps at the French Grand Prix on June 27, two days before a full test day again at Circuit Paul Ricard.
“I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car,” said Grosjean.
“It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a world championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience.
“I’m very grateful to Mercedes F1 and to Toto [Wolff, Mercedes boss] for the opportunity.
“The first I heard about the chance to drive a Mercedes was in my hospital bed in Bahrain when Toto was speaking to the media and made the invitation. Reading that news cheered me up a lot!
“F1 didn’t get the chance to race in France during 2020 because of COVID so driving a Mercedes at the French Grand Prix in 2021 and then completing a test at the Circuit Paul Ricard, my home track, will be so special.
“I can’t wait for the day to arrive.”
Wolff made no secret of his delight at making “this special opportunity” possible for Grosjean, a 10-time F1 podium finisher.
“The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in Formula One, and we didn’t want his accident to be his last moment in an F1 car,” he said.
“I have known Romain since his days in Formula Three when he won the championship.
“He enjoyed a long and successful F1 career and we wanted to make sure that his final memories would be at the wheel of a championship-winning car. I’m excited to see what Romain’s feedback on the W10 is.
“Romain’s accident reminds us of the dangers these guys face each time they climb into the cockpit but it’s also a testament to the incredible steps this sport has taken to improve safety over the years. I know the F1 community will celebrate seeing Romain back on track.”
Hamilton likewise welcomed the chance for Grosjean – complete with a cheeky message.
“When it happened, we were all praying for him and seeing him walk away from it and recover so well was a massive relief,” said the seven-time champion.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him again in France and welcoming him to the team for the weekend – although he better look after my W10!”