Andretti are in the news once again, but this time it’s because Romain Grosjean is taking legal action against the American outfit…
With Romain Grosjean losing his IndyCar drive at Andretti Autosport for 2024, the French-Swiss driver is kicking off arbitration proceedings in order to dispute the direction the American squad is taking for next season.
Andretti looks set to downsize their IndyCar effort from four cars to three next season but, even if they don’t, Grosjean hasn’t factored into their future plans.
Romain Grosjean announces the commencement of arbitration
In a statement released through his social media, the former F1 driver announced the beginning of a legal dispute over his future – taking Andretti to arbitration over their seat choices.
“I enjoyed working with the IndyCar team at Andretti Autosport,” he said.
“I am proud of the successes we shared through two seasons. I am thankful for the many friendships developed at the highest level of American open-wheel racing.
“I had expected to continue racing with the fine people of Andretti Autosport in the coming years.
“I am disappointed that is not being fulfilled, and wish Andretti team members well. I am pursuing other options to continue my IndyCar career in pursuit of excellence.
“I have commenced an arbitration proceeding in Indiana against Andretti Autosport, seeking to protect my rights. I am represented by John Maley and Mark Owens of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.
“Respectfully, Romain Grosjean.”
Romain Grosjean vows to find a new home in IndyCar
Grosjean, whose F1 career came to an end in spectacular circumstances as he picked up burn injuries in a dramatic and terrifying accident at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix when his Haas pierced through the barriers and exploded, moved to IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing in 2021.
Impressing in his maiden season in the championship, he moved up to the Andretti Autosport team in the No.28 for 2022. But, despite early promise, and two second-place finishes early this year, Grosjean has struggled for form and has remained mired in the midfield for the majority of 2023.
Recently signing Marcus Ericsson, the 2022 Indy 500 winner and a former F1 contemporary of Grosjean, Andretti’s eye appeared to be on other drivers, with Grosjean out of the picture as it remains uncertain whether or not Andretti will field four cars.
“That is correct, we are still very much noncommittal,” Andretti told NBC Sports last month, when asked if a fourth car is uncertain.
“We are working on a fourth right now. To be honest with you, we really don’t know what we want to do yet. We hope to have an answer by Laguna Seca.
“There are a lot of things that go into a fourth car, not just sponsorship. We have quite a few different options we are looking at and see what the best one is that works for us.”
But, with IndyCar spaces drying up, Grosjean remains optimistic of finding a new home in the American series that he and his family have embraced by moving to the United States.
“I’m a Phoenix. I will always find a place to land,” Grosjean said, referring to the nickname he gave himself following his near-death experience in 2020.
“I cannot speak for what Michael Andretti is doing with the fourth car, but I do have other IndyCar teams that are talking to me. I will land on my feet.”
However, Grosjean’s future may now be in sportscars – he has a contract with Lamborghini’s Iron Lynx team as he helps them develop a new hybrid prototype for the LMDh class of the World Endurance Championship, as well as the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
PlanetF1.com has approached Romain Grosjean’s legal team, as well as Andretti Autosport, for comment.