Mercedes offered Grosjean the chance to test his 2019 W10 car after the French driver left F1 at the end of 2020, where the horrific accident he suffered at the Bahrain Grand Prix turned out to be his last race in the championship.
To allow Grosjean to sign on a higher note, Mercedes had scheduled a test for the now IndyCar driver ahead of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, but quarantine requirements meant traveling from the US to France paid for those planes.
Although Mercedes attempted to reschedule the test for the summer, Grosjean was unable to claim his test exit due to ongoing scheduling conflicts.
However, Grosjean said it was still doable.
He said: “I messaged Toto after Abu Dhabi. Well, I left for a few weeks, a few weeks passed, then I messaged Toto, and he replied. He started by ‘Thank you’, then the last sentence was: ‘We have to put you in this car this year.’
“Yes, it’s still on the cards. There were a few things last year that didn’t make things any easier. This year, I can’t go to the French Grand Prix because we are racing in Iowa the same weekend.
“But Mercedes really want to do it, I want to do it, even if my neck is going to die because I lost some of the muscle there. You can ask Pato [O’Ward] how was it [in an F1 car].
“But yes, we still want to do it, and if it happens, great. But the main focus now is on trying to win races with Andretti.
Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG and Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 Team
After an impressive first year in IndyCar, Grosjean moved from Rick Ware-backed Dale Coyne Racing to Andretti Autosport to replace 2012 IndyCar title winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Commenting on the controversial F1 2021 title decider in Abu Dhabi, Grosjean thought the show was “amazing” – and added he thought Max Verstappen had won the title all season, rather than having any luck in the last lap.
Speaking at an IndyCar press conference, the newly named No.28 Andretti Autosport-Honda driver was asked what he thought of his former peers Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Max Verstappen battling for the title 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
“I liked it!” answered Grosjean. “It was exciting, my heart was beating like hell. And I think to have two cars battling it out on one lap for the world championship was amazing.
“I think the wrong conception is to think the world championship was one lap. It was 22 Grands Prix, and if you look at the whole season you know Max punctured in Baku, Valtteri Bottas s crashed into Verstappen in Hungary, there was the Silverstone race [clash between Hamilton and Verstappen].
“I think in the end, if you look at how many points Verstappen lost, not necessarily his fault, he was the one who deserved the championship the most.
“On the Abu Dhabi race, Lewis deserved the championship more. He was unlucky on the last lap. But as a racing fan, I loved that last lap, and it was super exciting to watch.