Romain Grosjean insists he would have said no to a Formula 1 return had Haas rung him instead of his former team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
However, as the team’s car fell down the grid and the finances needed to compete grew, they were dumped in favour of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, both of whom brought considerably more money in sponsorship.
After they left the team, Grosjean and Magnussen headed for different driving ventures with the former trying his hand at IndyCar.
The Frenchman’s performances were good and despite racing only a partial schedule, he was almost named Rookie of the Year.
For the 2022 season, he has joined Andretti Autosport and said he would not have returned to F1 had Haas rung him.
“A lot of people asked me if I would go back. I would not,” said Grosjean, as reported by motorsportweek.com.
“I’m really happy in the United States, really happy in IndyCar.
YES my friend. Really happy for you https://t.co/JTKLZ1HdgZ
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) March 9, 2022
“I’m so excited every weekend that I can go in a race and get a shot at the win. I had an incredible career in F1, all the races are behind me, it’s such a huge part of my life.
“But right now I’m on to the next chapter, and the next chapter is about winning races and trying to win championships. So I would not have answered positively to the phone call.”
Haas made the call to Magnussen having sacked Mazepin following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and despite a couple of on-track incidents between the two, Grosjean said he was happy for his former team-mate.
“I think it’s awesome, I’m so happy for Kevin,” he said.
“He’s such a great guy. We didn’t always get on nicely, we kind of had a different view on racing with team-mates.
“We banged wheels a few times on the race track and we talked through what we were thinking [as] team-mates, and from there it was very smooth.”
The 35-year-old said Schumacher would be getting a team-mate who is “very fast” but is worried the Haas car will not be competitive.
“Haas were in this situation where everything was happening in the world, different decisions [were made], they stopped the sponsorship with Uralkali.
“I believe the reason Mazepin was driving for Haas was because he was bringing a huge sponsorship for the team.
“I think for Mick Schumacher, he will have a team-mate that has a lot of experience in F1, that is very fast. Kevin’s strength is he can always drive the car the way it is.
“He will do with it, it doesn’t need to be perfect for him to go fast. He will deal with the car. I hope Haas will give him a competitive car.
“I’m worried it won’t be that competitive, but who knows – I hope I’m wrong. I hope for Kevin he can get some fights at the front.”