Romain Grosjean will sit out the Indy 500 this year – even if he signs up to race in the Indycar championship.
The Frenchman, who had already lost his Haas seat for 2021, suffered burns to his hands but otherwise miraculously escaped from a horror crash in Bahrain late last season.
“The accident changed my life – now I can’t go to the supermarket to shop,” he smiled to L’Equipe newspaper.
“I used to have 900,000 subscribers, and a couple of days after the accident I got to 1.4 million. And the haters calmed down a bit. They stopped talking about me so negatively.”
Now, the 34-year-old is looking ahead to the next stage of his motor racing career, and according to some reports he is close to signing with the Dale Coyne team in Indycar.
“For a month I kept telling myself that I could skip the season and not race at all, even if I wouldn’t like that,” said Grosjean.
“There are things I will never do. Like in Indycar, which is not a bad option for me, I will not race on ovals – not even in the Indy 500,” he revealed. “At least not this year.
“But I don’t know what the future holds. Before the accident, I would have raced on ovals without any problem, but now I will wait with that,” Grosjean said.
He also said it is important to him that he enters the post-Formula 1 phase of his life with his legacy accurately portrayed.
“Now they treat me like the guy who got out of the fire because I am a racer who goes for it. Yes, I did stupid things and took a lot of risks, but I never had a fast car like a Mercedes. I always had to attack,” said Grosjean.
“I appreciate that change in perception. It wasn’t always like that. People began to understand that our work is our passion. I almost gave my life to win three positions as I fought for P19.
“Those who criticised me before did not understand that we are always risking our lives.”