Romain Grosjean wants to build up a friendship with his IndyCar team-mate Ed Jones, rather than be the “a**hole”.
The Frenchman departed Formula 1 following the expiration of his contract with Haas, although a horrifying crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix sadly caused him to miss his final two scheduled races with the American-owned outfit.
But he will continue his racing career across the pond in IndyCar as part of the Dale Coyne Racing team, where he links up with new team-mate Ed Jones.
Grosjean was in action for the first time in a testing session at Barber Motorsports Park ahead of the season-opener there on April 18.
And now part of the IndyCar grid, he wants to be a good team-mate to Jones and hopefully build up a positive relationship off the track, rather than be an “a**hole” as he admitted to being at times in his Formula 1 career.
“I told him I used to be an asshole as a team-mate,” said Grosjean, quoted by Motorsport-Total.com, as he described the way he introduced himself to Jones.
“But now I’m 35 and I want to be friendly. We have a good relationship. On the track you want to beat him, there’s no question about that. But if we could be friends off the track, that would be mega.”
IndyCar does have a strong representation of ex-Formula 1 drivers and Grosjean enjoyed having a catch-up with two of them at the Barber test.
“I’ve had some good conversations with Sebastien Bourdais. He was right next door [in the pit lane], so it was easy,” he explained.
“Takuma Sato also came by.”
Bloody cool & good first day in the car. Felt great with no apprehension. Still a lot to learn before race 1 but that's what you do when you are a rookie 💪💯
Next stop Laguna Seca on the 1st of March.#r8g #us2021 @DaleCoyneRacing @IndyCar pic.twitter.com/yBVPU3SB4U
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) February 24, 2021
Grosjean has spoke in the past of his beliefs that IndyCar offers more excitement than Formula 1. Since the machinery is designed to spec in IndyCar, Grosjean feels the results are less predictable than in Formula 1.
But asked for the biggest difference he felt between Formula 1 and IndyCar challengers, Grosjean said that lies in the steering systems.
“It’s definitely the most difficult steering I’ve driven in a long time. In the first laps the muscles were not warmed up, but in the end it was better,” he explained.
“Driving these cars is much more strenuous, completely different from Formula 1 where you only fight with the G-forces. But here you can physically feel how heavy the car is. But I don’t mind, it’s cool.”