Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has assured Romain Grosjean that he will get his opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car again after promising him a test at the end of 2020.
Grosjean was set to contest the final two races of his F1 career at the Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before he departed for IndyCar at the end of the 2020 season, but his tenure was cut short by his horrific accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
He slewed across the track and into the barrier after contact with Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap of the race, splitting the car in half and sparking a frightening inferno as his Haas went straight through the wall.
Having been trapped in the car for almost half a minute before he eventually clambered out, he was remarkably lucky to escape with burns and minor fractures.
Pietro Fittipaldi took the Frenchman’s place in the final two rounds after he was unsurprisingly declared unfit to compete, and Wolff suggested that Grosjean should return to Europe some time and get behind the wheel of a Mercedes.
Grosjean, who managed three podiums with Dale Coyne in IndyCar in 2021, revealed in a YouTube video that he has had a helmet specifically made for his test, and maintained that a phone call with the Austrian had confirmed that the drive is “still on the cards.”
Wolff stresses that his is a man of his word, and the 36-year-old will get his grand day out in the Silver Arrow.
“The test is going to happen for sure. We’ve committed to it. [We are seeing] what we can do and what he can do. But that is going to happen. When I give my word, I give my word,” he said, quoted by Autosport.
Grosjean’s name was loosely associated with the Haas seat after Nikita Mazepin was sacked amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, but it was Kevin Magnussen who would return from IMSA to partner Mick Schumacher for 2022.
Grosjean spent 77 races together with the Dane at the American team, and revealed previously that he would have declined the offer to go back to F1 having found such enjoyment in the current chapter of his career in the States.
“A lot of people asked me if I would go back. I would not,” he confirmed in a YouTube video.
“I’m really happy in the United States, really happy in IndyCar.
“I’m so excited every weekend that I can go in a race and get a shot at the win. I had an incredible career in F1, all the races are behind me, it’s such a huge part of my life.
“But right now I’m on to the next chapter, and the next chapter is about winning races and trying to win championships so I would not have answered positively to the phone call.”
Grosjean joined Andretti ahead of the 2022 season, and has managed two top ten finishes as well as a podium, leaving him sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.