If this whole racing thing with Andretti Autosport and Lamborghini’s sportscar team fall through, Romain Grosjean has an eye on his next career: flying Roger Penske’s private jet.
After several years of dreaming of soaring several hundred miles an hour in the sky, Grosjean revealed he’s fast-tracked his dreams of becoming a pilot this offseason. The 36-year-old ex-F1 star said requirements in Europe are far more rigorous – and with a nine- or 10-month race schedule through 2020, next to impossible to complete.
He cracked open his first book in August and he’d obtained his private pilot license by the holidays and had already spent 115 hours in the cockpit. He expects to have his commercial license by the end of the year, so, “Roger (Penske) can pay me to fly him around to the races.”
Having already treated his wife, Marion, to spontaneous lunches in Key West – a 40-minute flight instead of a four-hour drive from their Miami home – Grosjean’s larger plans for this year include commuting to every IndyCar race the weather allows.
“I got bored of waiting in airports, so I thought I’d fly myself,” he said. “Now, we’ve got the freedom to go anywhere we want, anytime we want. We can go to the Bahamas for a day if we want to – anywhere.
“The biggest difference between Europe and here is that everything’s possible.”
To tackle the most daunting portion of the IndyCar schedule – the season-closing west coast swing in Portland and Laguna Seca, Grosjean said he plans to fly to Portland across two days, targeting an overnight in Denver before pushing on towards the Pacific Northwest.
A simmering rivalry:Pagenaud explains love for 'pushing Newgarden's buttons'
Fast-tracking English lessons
You think flying a plane is hard? Try learning a new language in three months while moving across the world to prepare for life in a foreign race car. Such has been the to-do list of Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Agustin Canapino since his exhibition runs in his native Argentina with JHR spurred a full-time IndyCar ride backed by the ‘Visit Argentina’ campaign by the country’s tourism board.
The 33-year-old, who’s risen to racing fame in Argentina in stock cars, knew just ‘hello’ when he was at JHR’s Speedway shop this fall for his seat fit and initial test before Argentinian exhibitions that drew more than 70,000 fans. Since then, he’s spent at least three hours each week in a formal English-speaking crash course.
“I need to practice, need to practice the conversation, need to practice so I can hear my engineer,” he said during a 20-minute interview with media. “Ricardo’s helped me, and (Thursday and Friday) will be important heading to St. Pete. But I need to practice. I need to do laps and have to hear my engineering in English. I need to speak with you all in English.
“And it’s very important, but I need to practice, need to practice the conversation, need to practice so I can hear my engineer,” he said. “Ricardo’s helped me, and (Thursday and Friday) will be important heading to St. Pete. But I need to practice. I need to do laps and have to hear my engineering in English. I need to speak with you all in English.
“When I have an objective in my mind, I go for it. Honestly, I think my English is very bad, but I’m always trying to do perfect in everything, and if I can’t do it perfect, for me, why do it?”
Lundgaard's hairy bet
IndyCar’s most famous mustache will be rooting for his youngest driver to lose his mustache as soon as possible.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s second-year driver Christian Lundgaard strolled into the Palm Springs Convention Center on Wednesday sporting a relatively new, fairly robust mustache. It stems from a deal he and a friend made this offseason, agreeing to grow the facial hair until the 21-year-old lands his first IndyCar victory.
The Dane said Wednesday he hopes to roll off the truck at St. Pete better than his debut a year ago – finishing Practice 1 25th in the 26-car field. Off the fruits of a massive off-season team overhaul, perhaps he can pull out the trimmer in a matter of weeks.
Or, given the team’s two-plus season winless drought, he might have a shot to let it inch towards Bobby Rahal territory.
“We’ll see,” he said. “It could be a few years, or it can be about a month.”
ECR's growth on pause
Coming off a year in which his race team ran a third car at more than half the IndyCar races and signed an IndyNXT driver to a development deal with an eye towards a 2025 IndyCar seat, Ed Carpenter appeared to be pressing towards his longtime goal of running three full-time entries. Equipped with substantial backing from Bitnile.com, the team’s primary sponsor in 2023, hiring a part-time driver to continue to fill out the No. 33 Chevy’s program on the road and street courses (with Carpenter running all the ovals) would seem to be the logical next step.
But Carpenter said Wednesday that move will have to wait. He and team manager Tim Broyles set a hard deadline this offseason that any prospective part-timers would have to meet with the necessary budget already in place. Team growth is great, Carpenter said, but hiring more crew, balancing new budgets and tinkering with its race schedule midseason cannot come at the expense of ECR’s pursuit of an Indy 500 victory and more consistent full-season performance.
Unfortunately for Simona De Silvestro, Linus Lundqvist and any other part-timers waiting in the wings, Carpenter revealed that that deadline has now come and gone.
“I don’t see that changing," Carpenter said. "Things can always change, but if we’re going to have growth, my focus is doing that in 2024.”
Last April, De Silvestro’s present backer, Beth Paretta’s Paretta Autosport, announced an alliance with ECR that initially included a three-race road and street program and provide training and mentorship to Paretta’s relatively inexperienced crew. Months later, they added the Laguna Seca finale with the hope for more. But Carpenter’s comments Wednesday confirmed a delay until at least 2024.
Paretta has been mum the last several months about any potential comeback for her team for 2023.
Scott Dixon: Jimmie Johnson may delay 500 plans
Scott Dixon revealed he believes Jimmie Johnson may opt to forgo a ride this year in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing with his old Chip Ganassi Racing team after choosing to step away from his full-time role back in September.
Since Johnson reveled his full-time race career was over and that he’d added Cup team co-owner to his resume, he’s contended a return to the 500 remains on his short list of options with confirmed runs at the Daytona 500 and NASCAR’s Le Mans run with the Garage 56 program. Johnson has also said that NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro for its All-Star race, scheduled during Indy 500 qualifying weekend, is also one of his targets. CGR officials have said they remain open to running a car for Johnson, even as they’ve filled their full-time four-car lineup.
Dixon, a close friend to Johnson, said Wednesday he believes Johnson’s return may come in tandem with Kyle Larson’s debut in tandem with Arrow McLaren and Johnson’s longtime NASCAR boss Rick Hendrick.
“He wants to do it. It’s just timing,“ Dixon said. “It’s very difficult, and especially with the Garage 56 entry and all that kind of stuff, there’s just a lot going on – especially in that period of time.”
A Daytona 500 debut?
Helio Castroneves confirmed last week that a Daytona 500 debut had been shelved due to the last-minute nature of the opportunity with Floyd Mayweather’s TMT Racing, the lack of practice time and the uncertainty of qualifying. Conor Daly’s name quickly surfaced as a likely ‘next man up’ target.
Daly, who made his Cup debut with TMT Racing on the Charlotte Roval last fall, said Wednesday he’d be inclined to accept the uphill challenge.
“I chatted with (Helio) earlier, and I think for him, an opportunity like that could probably come about really any time,” Daly said. “But for me, I don’t know if an opportunity like that would come again. I have done a lot in my life but, you know what, if there’s a chance to do it, might as well do it."
Should TMT Racing puts together the program and green lights Daly, he’d then have to qualify for the race. Cup’s 36 full-time guaranteed entries take up all but four of the spots on the grid, and the two fastest non-chartered cars from single-car qualifying that week will grab spots No. 37 and 38. The final two will go to the highest-finishing non-chartered car in each of the two dual races. At the moment, Daly and TMT Racing would make six non-guaranteed cars running for four spots – a pool that includes racing legends Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana.
Power's wife's health improving
After being forced to skip his Rolex 24 debut to care for his ailing wife, Liz, last month, Will Power said Wednesday her condition has improved after she underwent back surgery to clean up complications related to a staph infection. Liz Power has played a significant role in the two-time champ’s success.
“She’s improving, and hopefully in the next four or five weeks, we can get to a point where it feels safe,” he said. “She’s much better than two weeks ago, but I think we’ll know for sure by then whether her blood will stay sterile. She was in pretty bad shape a couple weeks ago.
“The last few weeks have been tough, staying in hospitals and working through the health issues. But that’s life. It could always be worse.”
Who is Grosjean driving for in 2023? ›
INDIANAPOLIS – Romain Grosjean is off to an impressive start in the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport. He enters Saturday's GMR Grand Prix fifth in points, just 15 points behind the leader, defending Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing.What's Romain Grosjean doing now? ›
These days, he is a Miami resident. He is an airplane pilot. He drives in IndyCar, the American series he used to tell his wife he'd never race in, for Andretti Autosport.Is Romain Grosjean a pilot? ›
– Race drivers are often referred to as “pilots.” In Romain Grosjean's case, that description is entirely accurate. The former Formula One driver from Geneva, Switzerland who drives the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport got his pilot's license during the offseason.Is Grosjean still in IndyCar? ›
Grosjean underwent his rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 5, 2021, and confirmed that he will be racing in the 2022 Indianapolis 500 along with the entire 2022 schedule.Who is Charles Leclerc driving for 2023? ›
Ferrari will have Charles Leclerc alongside Carlos Sainz in 2023.Did Grosjean get to drive Mercedes? ›
I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car! It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a World Championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience. I'm very grateful to Mercedes F1 and to Toto for the opportunity.Are there female F1 pilots? ›
There are no rules preventing women from competing in Formula 1, but the current grid is exclusively male. In fact, a female driver hasn't competed in a grand prix since 1976.Who is the most aggressive F1 pilot? ›
The Most Aggressive Formula 1 Driver Is Max Verstappen.Who is the youngest F1 pilot? ›
Who is the youngest F1 driver on the grid? The youngest driver on the F1 grid is Oscar Piastri. The McLaren youngster is one of only three current F1 drivers born in the 2000s, having been born on 6 April 2001, so he is currently 21 years old, and will have turned 22 by the end of the 2023 season.Why did Grosjean retire? ›
Grosjean retired from F1 at the end of 2020 following two disappointing years at Haas. His F1 career was cut short by two races after a dramatic fireball crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix which left him recovering from severe burns on his hands.
Is IndyCar faster than F1? ›
Scott Dixon's pole qualifying speed for the 2022 Indy 500 was 234.036 mph over 4 laps on the 2.5-mile oval. Cars go from 0-200 mph in about 8 seconds. F1 cars can produce 1,000 horsepower. Kevin Magnussen ran F1's top speed in 2022, hitting 218.5 mph in a qualifying session.How much money do IndyCar drivers make? ›
IndyCar does offer a higher minimum wage than NASCAR, with its least expensive drivers earning $300,000 annually compared to its rivals' $200,000. Only two drivers make six figures from IndyCar though, with Arrow McLaren's 23-year-old star Pato O'Ward taking home $1million.Who is Grosjean wife? ›
Marion Jollès married French-Swiss auto racing driver Romain Grosjean on 27 June 2012 in Chamonix France: the couple having been together for three years. She added his family name to hers. They have two sons, Sacha, born on 29 July 2013, and Simon, born on 16 May 2015.Is Romain Grosjean coming back? ›
Grosjean currently drives for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar, with the group looking to enter F1 in 2026. While Grosjean will be 39 by the time the 2026 kicks off, he'd be open to a return to F1, potentially with Andretti, if they were guaranteed to be fighting at the front of the field.What happened to Michael Schumacher? ›
In December 2013, Schumacher had a horrendous skiing accident in Switzerland where he suffered a severe brain injury. He was placed in a medically induced coma until the following June. He was skiing off-piste with his son, Mick, where he fell and hit his head on a rock.Who is Audi replacing in F1? ›
“This is an important milestone on the way to Audi's entry in Formula One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the German brand's strategic partner,” Sauber said in a statement. Sauber will run with Ferrari power units in 2024 and 2025, before Audi steps in.Does Force India still exist? ›
Background. On 27 July 2018, Force India Formula One Team Limited, the operator of Force India Formula One Team for eleven seasons, was put into administration. By 2 August 2018 its assets were purchased by Racing Point UK Limited, a company created by a group of investors led by Lawrence Stroll.Why did Charles Leclerc stop? ›
It was a bad start to the F1 2023 season for Charles Leclerc after an engine failure forced him out of the Bahrain Grand Prix - but what caused it? Leclerc's Bahrain GP ended prematurely on Lap 40 after an engine-related issue caused him to retire from the race.What happened to Grosjean after the crash? ›
Grosjean's car was engulfed in flames after his crash in Bahrain. In order to escape the flames, Grosjean had to break the headrest with his helmet and pull hard with his trapped foot to remove it from the chassis. After freeing himself, he was transported to the hospital and treated for burns on his hands and ankles.Why did Grosjean not drive the Mercedes? ›
"Due to Covid, the date of the French Grand Prix got moved and I had a race the same weekend. "We wanted to do the test day but there was some quarantine between France and the UK so for Mercedes, it was getting very complicated."
Why didn't Grosjean drive the Mercedes? ›
Romain Grosjean says his postponed Mercedes Formula 1 test drive is “still on the cards” after a recent discussion with Toto Wolff. The IndyCar convert was offered a run in Mercedes' 2019 W10 car by Wolff, after Grosjean's F1 career was cut short following an enormous crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2020.Can a female race in F1? ›
There are no rules preventing women from competing in Formula 1, but the current grid is exclusively male. In fact, a female driver hasn't competed in a grand prix since 1976. The one female driver with the closest links to a current F1 team is Jamie Chadwick.What is female F1 called? ›
To try and change that, the sport has launched a new all-female racing category called the F1 Academy - with 15 women competing across five teams.Who is the only female F1 driver? ›
Maria Grazia "Lella" Lombardi (26 March 1941 – 3 March 1992) was an Italian racing driver who participated in 17 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix. Lombardi is one of two female drivers to qualify for Formula One and is the only female driver who scored points in Formula One.Who was the most aggressive race car driver? ›
Dale Earnhardt is one of the most legendary NASCAR drivers known for his aggressive style and magnificent skills. His aggressive style has earned him the famous nickname “The Intimidator”.How many G's can a F1 car pull? ›
The average G-force in Formula 1 is about 6G and may change depending on the racing circuit. Formula 1 drivers typically experience 5G while braking, 2G while accelerating, 0,6G due to bouncing, and 6G while cornering. It also has been increasing due to heavy braking and high-speed cornering, and may reach 9G.Has there ever been a fight in F1? ›
S4 E4: Imola 1989 - Senna Prost war begins + Berger's fireball escape. The 1989 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola was the setting for the first proper eruption of the war between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.How old is the oldest Formula 1 driver? ›
Juan Manuel Fangio is comfortably the oldest driver to win the F1 championship, at the age of 46 years and 41 days when he triumphed in August 1957.What age do F1 drivers retire? ›
What Is The Average Retirement Age For F1 Drivers? F1 drivers typically retire in their late 30s, but that's just an average. Some have retired in their early 30s, while others have retired beyond their 40s. F1 does not have maximum age restrictions, so drivers retire at various ages for non-age related reasons.Who is the best F1 driver in history? ›
Lewis Hamilton - 103 wins. In terms of career wins and total career points, Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula 1 driver to have ever graced a circuit.
Who is replacing Romain Grosjean? ›
Since his two F1 starts as Grosjean's replacement at the end of the 2020 season, Fittipaldi has competed in multiple different series while dovetailing it in his role as Haas reserve driver.Who pulled Grosjean out of the fire? ›
FIA doctor Ian Roberts, who rushed towards the blaze in an open-face helmet to help Grosjean clamber out of the inferno, said the Frenchman had done a 'fantastic job' in extricating himself.Why did Grosjean switch to IndyCar? ›
'I wanted to go where I wanted': Why F1's Romain Grosjean chose IndyCar. Romain Grosjean wants to be “Romain Grosjean” again, and he can't do that without IndyCar, a sport he's never raced in, has never followed too closely and one he never truly considered a career option until last fall.Is F1 faster than V8? ›
So it's official. A Formula 1 car is faster than a V8 Supercar and a superbike. A lot faster. In the ultimate race of the fastest machines on four and two wheels, the Formula 1 car, driven by Aussie ace Mark Webber, destroyed the V8 and bike in a head-to-head battle at Sydney Motorsport Park today.Who gets paid more F1 or IndyCar? ›
F1 drivers are the highest-paid athletes in motorsports, taking home $11.4 million on average across all 20 drivers on the 2022 grid – a figure set to slightly reduce this year with high-earners Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo stepping away.What's harder F1 or Indy? ›
Another key difference between the two series is in the area of physicality. While F1 is quicker and more demanding on a drivers' neck due to extreme G-forces, IndyCar's lower cornering speeds mean this is less of a concern for its drivers.How much does IndyCar pit crew get paid? ›
As of May 14, 2023, the average annual pay for a Pit Crew Member in Indianapolis is $24,370 a year.How much does it cost to join IndyCar? ›
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The estimated total pay for a Engineer at INDYCAR is $96,284 per year.Who are the confirmed F1 drivers for 2023? ›
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc (2024) Carlos Sainz Jr (2024)|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen (multi-year deal) Nico Hülkenberg (2023)|
|McLaren||Lando Norris (2025) Oscar Piastri (multi-year deal)|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton (2023) George Russell (multi-year deal)|
Which F1 drivers have signed for 2023? ›
The 2023 F1 grid is finally settled. We've said goodbye to Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo, but welcome Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri as rookies and Nico Hülkenberg returns after two seasons away.Who is driving for who in F1 2023? ›
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Jr.|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen Nico Hülkenberg|
|McLaren||Oscar Piastri Lando Norris|
|19 March||Saudi Arabian GP||Jeddah|
|2 April||Australian GP||Melbourne|
|30 April||Azerbaijan GP||Baku|
|7 May||Miami GP||Miami|
Logan Sargeant will be graduating to Formula 1 for the 2023 season, as Williams have confirmed the signing of the 21-year-old for next year following the final round of the 2022 Formula 2 season.Where is Mick Schumacher going in 2023? ›
The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team is delighted to confirm that Mick Schumacher will join the Team in the role of Reserve Driver for 2023. Mick will play an important role in the ongoing development of the W14.Who is the new driver for Haas 2023? ›
Haas enters 2023 not only with a new driver lineup of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg but a new team sponsor, making the American outfit the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team.How much do Formula 1 reserve drivers make? ›
With F1 wages varying between five hundred thousand to fifty million dollars, it can be estimated that reserve drivers in Formula 1 get paid anywhere between twenty-five thousand and five-hundred thousand dollars every year.How much does F1 2023 cost? ›
KEY FINDINGS. Budget fans will spend on average approx. $600 USD to attend a race in 2023. The cheapest races include Hungary, Austria and Imola (all less than $400 USD) while the most expensive races are in Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi, USA and Miami, where you'll spend $950-1,040 USD.Is Lotus joining F1 2023? ›
But with the new Emira GT4, co-developed with RML, it's finally returning to where it “should be” and is already seeing plenty of interest from around the world ahead of a mooted competition debut in 2023. Lotus. It is one of the most iconic names in the world of motorsport.Is Audi joining F1? ›
READ MORE: Audi to join Formula 1 from 2026
Audi will create their power unit at their base in Neuburg in Germany – where already more than 120 people are working on the project – while Sauber will develop and manufacture their race car at their headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland.
What engines are used in F1 teams 2023? ›
Starting in 2023, all cars will be required to have 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged hybrid engines, which can be selected from a manufacturer of their choosing. This marks a significant reduction from the V8 2.6-litre engines utilized between 2006 and 2013, and the pre-2006 3-litre V10s.Which team is leaving F1 in 2026? ›
Porsche will not join the Formula 1 grid in 2026 as it is believed to have ended its formal evaluation of a programme despite the championship still being of interest.What is Mick Schumacher doing now? ›
What is Mick Schumacher doing in 2023? Schumacher is Mercedes' reserve driver for the current F1 season.Which F1 drivers have been confirmed for 2024? ›
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon (2024) Pierre Gasly (multi-year deal)|
|Aston Martin||Fernando Alonso (multi-year deal) TBC|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc (2024) Carlos Sainz Jr (2024)|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen (multi-year deal) TBC|