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Grosjean surprised by 'open, friendly' IndyCar compared to F1

Grosjean surprised by 'open, friendly' IndyCar compared to F1

F1 News

Grosjean surprised by 'open, friendly' IndyCar compared to F1

Grosjean surprised by 'open, friendly' IndyCar compared to F1
GPFans Staff

Romain Grosjean has expressed his surprise at the open and friendly nature of the IndyCar paddock compared to that of Formula 1.

After nine full seasons of racing in F1, Grosjean has now embarked on a new chapter in his motor-racing career as he tackles IndyCar.

On Tuesday, the 34-year-old Frenchman took part in a private test at Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park for the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda entry ahead of his debut in April.

Grosjean ultimately finished the slowest of the 12 drivers involved, while he also spun into the gravel in the morning session, which left him appreciating how much he has to learn in a very short period of time, including driving without power steering.

“It felt very normal,” said Grosjean to IndyCar.com. “It’s a different car, a different position, but apart from that, everything felt great and normal.

"I just need to get used to a new car. It reminds me of when I was jumping from Formula Renault to Formula 3 and GP2. So far, I’ve been really happy with it.

“The mechanical grip of the car has been really good. I can really understand why you can get the racing good. The way the team works is really good.

"It’s different, but I’m happy with that. Trying to adapt myself has been quite smooth. I think the more testing we have, the better it is, but I’m also very much looking forward for it to be the 17th and 18th of April to go racing.”

At least Grosjean could console himself with seeing familiar faces in the paddock in Takuma Sato and compatriot Sebastien Bourdais who made him feel very welcome, all far removed from the F1 atmosphere.

“When I arrived, I was quite surprised to see that the cars are being set up here, and there’s no closed garage or tents,” added Grosjean.

“I really like it. You get to go into the pit lane, and I was talking to Sebastien Bourdais, and Takuma (Sato) came over, and we had a good chat next to his car.

"The talking is made on track, and whenever you remove your helmet it feels like everyone is friendly and likes to talk and chat.”

Physically, Grosjean could feel the difference without the power steering, while there were also anxious moments regarding his left hand that is still recovering from burns sustained in his fireball crash at last year's Bahrain Grand Prix.

“After the first run my biceps started hurting a bit, and I thought ‘Okay, okay. Now we’re talking'," said Grosjean. "You really feel the car.

"I guess you can drive it a little bit more with your driving style with the way you apply the brake and your turning and so on.

"You can actually use different lines, whereas in Formula One you may be more stuck to the ideal line because of how the aerodynamics work."

As for the hand, Grosjean added: “It’s actually done very well. I had a big snap on the last run (of the morning), and that was a bit painful. I expect those. I know it’s not fully recovered and is sensitive.”

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