Former F1 driver Romain Grosjean has been told he has “overstayed his welcome” in IndyCar already by a fellow competitor after a late incident between the pair.
Grosjean is in his second season in IndyCar having left the Haas F1 team at the end of the 2020 campaign. He arrived in the sport with a lot of good grace having miraculously survived a horrific crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – but it appears some are becoming less happy about the Frenchman’s presence in the sport.
In his first season with Dale Coyne Racing, Grosjean finished 15th in the standings but was named Rookie of the Year. He has since switched teams to Andretti Autosport and currently resides in eighth after four races of the 2022 campaign.
However, in the latest race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, one of Grosjean’s rivals labelled him a “punk” over the radio and later went on to say Grosjean was living up to his reputation from Formula 1.
With four laps to go, Grosjean went for an overtake on the inside of Graham Rahal but clipped him. Then as the two exited the corner with Rahal still ahead, Grosjean appeared to drive right into him once more.
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Rahal accused Grosjean of hitting him on purpose over the team radio and his opinion had not changed by the time he came to the post-race interview.
“Good racing with Colton [Herta], Scotty [McLaughlin] ,” Rahal told IndyCar Radio. “Good racing with a lot. Just one particular guy not so clean. We are gonna have to have a little sit down, a little conversation, about what the hell’s going on here.
“I think the drivers need to get together — all of us — because I’m not the only one with a problem. It’s quite a significant number of drivers that have had run-ins with this guy. As I said on TV, when the roles are reversed, officiating had better be consistent…because it’s gonna be reversed at some stage. I’m not gonna play nice. This guy has overstayed his welcome.”
The 33-year-old then went on to suggest Grosjean was showing signs of his reputation from F1 where he became known for causing incidents.
“I’ll let you guys decide,” Rahal said. “But as another driver in the series told me ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ and it’s kind of been his reputation over his whole career in Europe and we are learning his reputation quickly here.
“So, to me, if race control doesn’t want to do anything then they won’t do anything, but when we go and punt him they had better not do anything to me — which, in the past, I’ve been penalised for a lot less than that.”
Grosjean, however, described it as “good racing”.
“Yeah, we touched a couple of times but it was good racing,” he said. “It was tough out there – just Barber is a very good track but it’s very hard to pass, especially when you are a train.
“If the car in front of you doesn’t have anyone in front then you can try a different line, but they were all in line so it was quite tricky.
“So here we touch a bit, then here we touch again so it’s good racing. I guess it’s IndyCar — wheel-to-wheel action!”