Romain Grosjean will shy away from IndyCar’s speedway events this year out of respect for his family, which has already endured the harrowing experience of the Frenchman’s Bahrain crash.
Grosjean has signed up for a 12-race schedule in IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing, but the former Haas driver’s agenda won’t include a double-header at the Texas Moto Speedway or a run in the Indianapolis 500.
Nevertheless, Grosjean’s migration to the US will allow him to pursue has single-seater career in motorsport in the wake of his eviction from F1.
“I heard it’s a different atmosphere in IndyCar, and that’s going to be great,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“The fans are made very welcome, the drivers are having barbecues beside their RVs, socializing…
“It’s top-level racing on track but outside of the car, it’s back to why we started racing when we were young – because we loved it.
“That’s something you lose a little bit through your professional career, but I think in IndyCar I can get it back. And I’m ready for that…”
For many, Grosjean was offered a second lease on life after he miraculously pulled himself out of his Bahrain inferno with mere seconds to spare.
The 34-year-old escaped with only minor burns to his hands but psychologically rattled, but perhaps not as much as his family who witnessed the drama live on TV.
Grosjean admits he thought long and hard about continuing his racing career. And while he reached the conclusion that his passion was intact, he also realized that he could no longer afford to submit his family to a psychological duress.
“There are two tracks that I’m not going to do this year, and that is Texas and the Indianapolis 500,” he explained.
“Much as I would love to win the Indy 500, they present a risk which is significant, and some of the crashes we’ve seen are massive.
“I’m not saying the drivers get hurt but still, they are driving cars at 210mph or more right next to each other, so it’s a risk. That’s the limiting factor compared with how I was before the accident in Bahrain.
Read also: Grosjean signs up for IndyCar season with Coyne!
“If I was 25 and I didn’t have kids I would do the whole season, no question,” he said.
“But I’m a father of three, and for two minutes and 45 seconds in Bahrain, I know they thought they had lost their father.
“So if I was younger, yes, I would do it all and accept that all motorsport involves risks. But being a dad, I can’t put my family through that phase again, and at Indy you can have some big crashes.
“Mainly the drivers get no injuries, but when you see it on TV, for a moment your breath stops. I think my kids have already had a feeling that truly no one ever wants to have, and I can’t put them through that again.”
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