The race in Indianapolis on a road-type track, in a configuration very close to the one on which the US Grand Prix was held seven times until 2007, was for Roman Grosjean only third behind the wheel of an IndyCar. However, on Friday, the Formula 1 veteran confidently won the qualification, and the next day finished second in the race, and was in the lead for 44 out of 85 laps of the distance.
This success was Roman's first podium since August 2021, when he, while still driving a Lotus, took 3rd place in the Belgian Grand Prix. But the last few seasons he played for the American team Haas F1, whose car was significantly inferior to the technique of rivals, and fans began to forget that, in fact, Grosjean is a fast and far from mediocre racer.
"Well, it feels like I'm back in the good old days when I enjoyed winning races," Roman told Racer after the Indianapolis Grand Prix finish.
not a very good car, it is exhausting, and you start to lose faith in yourself.
You do not understand if the problem is in you or in the car, and sometimes you doubt your abilities. But there were good people around, they reminded me, what I am capable of. I took up a new challenge, moved to IndyCar, although each of your decisions involves a certain risk. But I said to myself: "I want to understand what I can achieve.
I think I still have speed. "
This weekend was a confirmation that people were right. In the first race in Alabama, I gained confidence. In the city race in St. Petersburg we were not as competitive, but it certainly worked out as it should this weekend.
Formula 1 was an incredibly important part of my life and I don't regret anything. to part because I wanted to fight for victories. I understood that in Indianapolis we can apply for good positions, and this motivated me.
After my ten years in Formula 1, someone could easily say: "He's just unimportant driver. "But now I'm here, having fun and doing everything in my power.
This weekend we proved that the Dale Coyne Racing team knows what can be achieved if the car is good, and I know how to to pilot ".
Interestingly, in the American team, Grosjean has a French racing engineer, Olivier Boisson, and Roman commended him very commendably: “He is certainly a great engineer. He proved it this weekend. some difficulties with the balance, but he managed to deal with them in time.
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We were not competitive enough in the morning warm-up and I gave him a hint on how to adjust the settings, he made a number of changes and I got a great car. When we were driving on a free track, we were really fast, in the first segment we were able to create a big lead over the guy who was driving behind me, although I don't know how good his car is.
Before the race, I told Olivier: "You know what to do. Go ahead, and I'll take control of the car.
" And so it happened. We wanted to win, and I think it was possible. But this is only our third race in IndyCar, and we already fought for the victory and climbed to the podium. This is great. "