Romain Grosjean's impressive debut season in IndyCar may have earned him a top seat for 2022, if rumours are to be believed.
Racing for Dale Coyne Racing this year, Grosjean took pole position for the Indy Grand Prix before racing to second place. He has also taken further top ten finishes at Road America and Mid-Ohio, and has impressed the IndyCar world due to his quick adjustment from Formula 1 and his bravery on track.
"Romain Grosjean is the biggest name on the market, and that hasn’t changed," renowned IndyCar journalist Marshall Pruett told RACER.
"What has emerged that’s new is the sheer number of insiders saying he’s a lock for Andretti Autosport’s No.28 Honda. I actually stopped counting after hearing the same Grosjean-to-the-28 story 10 or 12 times."
This would put Grosjean into the seat currently occupied by Ryan Hunter-Reay.
"The most interesting development I’ve heard goes beyond Andretti’s
pursuit of the Frenchman," Pruett said.
"If they come to terms on a deal – and it’s said to involve a steep asking price – Grosjean would join Honda/Acura/HPD as a factory-affiliated driver in the same way Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, and Alexander Rossi have direct ties to the manufacturer. Assuming that deal gets done, don’t be surprised if we see Grosjean racing for Andretti in IndyCar and in one of Acura’s factory IMSA DPi programs in 2022 and beyond.
"And it couldn’t happen to a better guy. From driving for the worst team in Formula 1 to, less than one year later, being brought into the Honda/Acura/HPD family in America? Assuming nothing goes sideways for Grosjean, the commitments and opportunities would present a new long-term chapter in his life and career."
Grosjean initially said that he would have no interest in racing at ovals, a decision he appears to now have rowed back on as he has started simulator work on ovals ahead of the race at Gateway in mid-August. He's also scheduled to take part in a test at the venue ahead of that weekend.
“Lots of people have spoken to Romain but nothing’s decided on anyone’s part,” Grosjean's team boss Dale Coyne told Motorsport.com.
“He’s performed very well this year so it’s not a surprise he’s attracting attention, right? Same as other promising guys we’ve run in the past. So… you know, you expect that.
“But there’s nobody more interested in him than we are. He’s done a great job for us – super personality, really nice guy who’s just loved IndyCar from pretty much the moment he arrived.
“Romain’s wife was with us the other day and she said ‘I’ve never felt this way with another team. It feels like family’. That was good to hear.
“We’re not a ‘mom ’n’ pop’ operation, but there’s a feeling that some IndyCar teams – and in particular, us – give whereby the driver and his family do feel a part of it. It’s not just he arrives, drives the car and disappears.
“And that feeling works really well with some drivers. Maybe it doesn’t work with others.”