Romain Grosjean has had one hell of a month. From being forced to explore options outside of Formula One for the 2021 season to his horrifying crash on the first lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix to now wondering what the future holds, the Frenchman has pretty much had his life turned upside down. But after experiencing a crash as bad as his, Grosjean knows one thing for sure: IndyCar is very much not the next step.
This is a fairly common turn of events for the so-called “F1 exiles.” They mention that they’re looking into IndyCar as a way to maintain their open-wheel careers only to come to the conclusion that IndyCar—especially its ovals—are way too dangerous.
Most of them, though, don’t have a life-or-death moment to scare them straight.
Here’s the quote straight from Grosjean himself:
The first and only target at the minute is to try to get back to Abu Dhabi, see how it works for me. After that, obviously we were talking about IndyCar at one point; the thought now to have the risks of ovals and having a big shunt, my family far away and seeing it on TV, it’s hard and I don’t know if I could make it.
But it’s all going to be worked out. I have decided not to take any decision for now until I get to Abu Dhabi, get some more time.
As much as I hate to admit it, Grosjean is right in being hesitant. While IndyCar’s 2021 schedule features fewer schedules than in recent years—and despite the fact that plenty of teams offer oval-free part-time schedules—it’s still kind of terrifying. It can be hard to get behind the wheel of a car you just saw get shredded in a fence, even if your next race is a road course. It’s definitely not for everyone.
Here’s more from Grosjean’s quote:
What is the hardest? For me it’s not what I went through—this is my life, my job and the risk we take. But it’s what I put people through—my family, my parents, my kids, my wife, my friends. For two minutes and 43 seconds they thought their friend, their father, their husband, was dead. That is what I’m working on, because that made me cry. That I made people suffer to that extent.
Last week the priority was to sign a contract and find a way to go racing in 2021. Priorities are a bit different. If I don’t race in 2021 I’ll be cycling, kite surfing, spending time with my kids, enjoying life and having time off, which I didn’t have since I am 17, probably.
Grosjean certainly had a come-to-Jesus moment worthy of some time off and a rethink about what he wants the next decades of his life to look like.