Ten seasons spent racing in Formula One never really gave Romain Grosjean a chance to show off his talents. His stint in the Renault-turned-Lotus was perhaps his best opportunity, where he grabbed an odd podium finish, but the team sank into mediocrity. Then came an opportunity at the totally useless Haas team, from which he retired (following a near-death crash) in 2020. With a move to IndyCar for 2021, RoGro has proven himself worthy of the sport, grabbing three podiums from a partial-season Dale Coyne Racing effort that really ought to be a mid-packer.
For 2022, The Phoenix is taking wing at one of IndyCar’s Big Three teams — well, really it’s third after the big two — Andretti Autosport. Even still, this is a huge opportunity for the 35-year-old. Andretti driver Colton Herta has won two races this year, and was in contention for a third at the Nashville event before crashing out. Given that level of equipment, Grosjean could be headed for his first race victory since his GP2 championship season in 2011.
Hunter-Reay has had his least successful season of IndyCar this year, and at 40 years old is ready for the next chapter of his racing career. With all these factory-backed LMDh programs popping up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up doing an IMSA or WEC program. The current DHL driver has 18 wins in IndyCar, including a championship in 2012, but has progressively returned fewer results in the subsequent years.
“We are thrilled to welcome Romain to the Andretti Autosport family,” said Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman, Andretti Autosport. “He already had an impressive resume before coming to IndyCar and watching what he’s been able to do in his rookie season here has been exciting to say the least. His vast motorsport experience will be beneficial to the team alongside our already strong 2022 driver lineup. We also couldn’t be more excited to continue our strong partnership with DHL. The DHL sponsorship is one of the longest and most successful in the paddock and we look forward to continued success on and off the track.”
Grosjean has been extremely exciting to watch in IndyCar this year. It’s obvious that he loves fighting for position, even if he takes a few risks that other more level headed drivers might not. He’s hungry and passionate but soft spoken in only the way French drivers seem t0 be. I hope we get to see him racing at the top of his game for many seasons to come. He made his oval debut this season a few weeks ago at the Gateway event, where he didn’t melt anyone’s minds, but certainly held his own. With some more experience he could prove a very well-rounded IndyCar driver. Future champ? Probably not with Ganassi and Penske dominating proceedings (and McLaren throwing in some hard hits along the way), but certainly a race winning contender.