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Romain Grosjean is still set to test for Mercedes at some stage after his initial run was postponed last year when the French Grand Prix date changed.
The Frenchman was promised a test by Toto Wolff after his terrifying crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix that proved to be the last F1 race of his career, with Wolff keen for Grosjean to have a more positive final memory in F1 machinery. However, after a date was agreed at his home race at Paul Ricard, a change of date meant Grosjean couldn’t carry out the test and it was postponed, but the now-Andretti IndyCar driver says it’s still in the pipeline.
“I sent a message to Toto after Abu Dhabi,” Grosjean said. “Well, I left a couple of weeks, a few weeks going by, and then I sent a message to Toto, and he did reply. He started (by saying) ‘Thank you’, and then the last sentence was, ‘we need to get you in that car this year.’ Yes, it’s still on the cards.
“There were a few things last year that didn’t make it easy. This year I cannot go to the French Grand Prix because we’re racing in Iowa the same weekend. But definitely Mercedes is keen to do it. I am keen to do it, even though my neck will be dying because I’ve lost part of the muscle there! You can ask Pato (O’Ward) what it was like. But yes, I mean, we still want to do it, and if it happens, great, but it’s just… the main focus is now trying to win races with Andretti.”
And the test is set to happen despite Grosjean disagreeing with Mercedes’ stance on the final lap controversy in Abu Dhabi, as he believes race director Michael Masi made the right decisions to leave a shootout between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
“I loved it. It was exciting. My heart was pumping like hell, and I think having two cars fighting over one lap for the world championship was amazing.
“I think the wrong conception is to think that the world championship went on one lap. It was 22 grands prix, and if you look at the full season, you know Max had the puncture in Baku, Valtteri Bottas crashed into Verstappen in Hungary, their (collision) at the Silverstone race. I think at the end if we look at how many points were lost by Verstappen, not necessarily by his fault, he was the one that deserved more the championship.
“On the Abu Dhabi race, Lewis deserved more the championship; he got unlucky over the last lap. But as a race fan, I loved that last lap, and it was super exciting to watch.
“There’s a few ways of seeing (the finish). It would have been very strange to not un-lap those cars and have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind over one lap for the world championship. On the other hand, for Lewis it was definitely not a great call, but as a TV fan, as a spectator, for the sport, I think Michael Masi made the right decision.
“I don’t think the championship would have been nice to finish under the Safety Car. It would not have been nice to finish with the guys being separated on track – being first and second separated by a few cars … I thought it was so cool to get those two guys going together.”