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Romain Grosjean’s special return to F1


ROMAIN Grosjean’s dream of ending his Formula 1 career the way he wanted is coming true.

Grosjean and Mercedes-AMG Petronas announced that Grosjean would return to the F1 cockpit to complete a once-off test for the six-time winning champions in France.   

In seven months to the day since his crash, Grosjean will drive Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 championship-winning W10 in a full-day test at French Grand Prix venue Circuit Paul Ricard on June 29.

He will also pilot the car for a series of demonstration laps ahead of his home race at the same venue two days earlier.

The Frenchman exited the motorsport in 2020 after not securing a seat for the 2021 season, ending his campaign with American racing team Haas. Grosjean now races in the IndyCar Series for Dale Coyne racing. 

The Frenchman’s 2020 season ended in Abu Dhabi when he was involved in a fiery crash when his Haas crashed into a barrier on the track, with Grosjean shockingly surviving the crash with minimal burns to his hands and feet. 

Grosjean did not complete the season, but read in the news that Mercedes-AMG team principal Toto Wolff had promised that he would get the chance to drive in the championship-winning Mercedes after his recovery, “to ensure he could end his Grand Prix racing story on his own terms.”

“I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car! It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a world championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience,” said Grosjean.

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The Frenchman completed a seat fit and simulator session at Mercedes’ Brackley factory in , who completed a seat fit and simulator session at Mercedes’ Brackley factory in London on March 30.

“I’m very grateful to Mercedes F1 and to Toto 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. Read 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.”

Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff echoed Grosjean’s excitement for the upcoming test, adding that the inspiration was to let Grosjean control how he wished to end his F1 career in a fitting way.

“We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity,” he said. “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.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff with Romain Grosjean in Brackley. Picture: Supplied

“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.

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“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.”

Current world champion Lewis Hamilton said that he was “really happy” to see that Grosjean would be returning to the f1 cockpit and driving his winning W10. 

“When it happened, we were all praying for him and seeing him walk away from it and recover so well was a massive relief,” added Hamilton.

“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.”

By The African Mirror