Six months after surviving the horrific crash at Bahrain Grand Prix, former F1 driver Romain Grosjean has secured his first IndyCar pole position in his debut IndyCar Series, ahead of his third race of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Grosjean clocked a sensational top lap of 1:09.4396, brushing ahead off two time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden, who was more than one tenth of a second behind the ex-Formula one racer.
6 months since the Bahrain crash, Romain Grosjean picks up pace in IndyCar career
On Saturday, the French-Swiss Driver will be making his third IndyCar appearance this season, which kicked off a month ago at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama where Grosjean finished 10th, followed by a 13th finish at St Petersburg.
“When I saw the (first qualifying) group I was in, I was like, ‘Oh, dear’, if we can get out of the first group, were going to be OK, and we did,” Grosjean said after securing P1 on Friday, “that last few laps, we were on it. What a day for us. I’m happier than I have been in a very long time.”
A veteran of 179 races and 10 podium finishes in his nine-season long F1 career, Romain Grosjean signed up with Dale Coyne Racing in the IndyCar series following the nerve-racking crash at Bahrain GP in November last year.
In the first lap of the race, Grosjean had made contact with Daniil Kvyat of AlphaTauri, before crashing his Haas VF-20 into the side barriers. Immediately upon impact, the car broke into two parts and went up in flames but miraculously, Grosjean walked out of the wreckage alive, with some burns on his hands and ankles.
Although Grosjean is finding comfort in his nascent IndyCar career, his days in F1 is not over yet. The 35-year-old will be seen back in the seat of an F1 car once again, and not just any F1 car, the 2019 championship-winning W10 of Lewis Hamilton.
Last week, it was revealed that Grosjean will be driving the iconic for a full-day test at the French Grand Prix venue Circuit Paul Ricard, a promise that was made to him by none other than the Mercedes CEO and Team Principal Toto Wolff.