Coyne would run third car for Grosjean on Gateway oval

Dale Coyne has confirmed to Motorsport.com that his team can run its extra Indy 500 entry for Gateway, should Romain Grosjean decide to take his first venture into IndyCar oval racing.

Coyne would run third car for Grosjean on Gateway oval

Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has only been confirmed in the #51 for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing-Honda for the 13 road and street course rounds of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, and has promised his family to avoid the speedway races on the calendar – namely, the double-header at Texas Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.

However, right from the start of his decision to switch to IndyCar, the Frenchman said he was in two minds about racing at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, the 1.25-mile oval on the border of Illinois and Missouri.

Today he reiterated that point, although Pietro Fittipaldi – Grosjean’s former Haas F1 team colleague, who subbed for him in the final two F1 rounds of 2020 – has been confirmed as racing for DCR-RWR in all four oval rounds.

“First of all, I'm super happy that Pietro gets the chance to do the speedways,” said Grosjean, who scored 10 podiums in his nine-year Formula 1 career. “I was happy he was the one jumping in for me at the end of last year. He deserved it.

“He was such a good reserve driver for Haas. He's a nice kid, as well. We always get on very well. When he phoned me to tell me he was going to do Indy 500 plus Texas, I was super happy for him.

"Even for the car and Dale Coyne Racing, I think it's the right time. I wish him all the best. I hope he can represent our colors very nicely during those events.”

Asked to clarify the Gateway situation, Grosjean replied, “We haven't really talked about it yet. I think there are high chances that I would like to do it.

“But let's see how the first races go, then we can assess."

Contacted by Motorsport.com, Coyne confirmed that team would run both Grosjean and Fittipaldi – as well as the DCR with Vasser Sullivan car for Ed Jones – at WWTR Gateway, should Grosjean elect to take the oval plunge.

Coyne and Ware already intend to add an extra car – probably for James Davison – at the Indianapolis 500.

While Grosjean has so far committed to IndyCar only in 2021, and there is much speculation that he could switch to the World Endurance Championship in its LMDh/Hypercars era. Asked what it would take to convince him to stay in IndyCar in 2022, Grosjean replied: “It's a good question. I don't have a direct answer.

“I can only tell you what I suspect. If I enjoy my time in the U.S., I can do a great job, I feel like this is what I want to do, and it is what I can race well and do my job properly, in a nice way, I would definitely stay.

“But at the minute it's a challenge that I'm taking on in a lot of aspects. It's a new category, a lot of travel for me. My family is staying in Europe. Sometimes I'm going to be maybe a month without seeing them, which is quite hard when you're a dad.

“But I'm ready to try it. As I say, if everything goes well, I really enjoy myself and I've got great opportunities in the future here, I'm more than happy to bring everyone over and to enjoy a few years here.

“I'm 35 so I still have some time for racing. Seems that the guys, Scott [Dixon] is 40, Will Power just turned 40, Sebastien [Bourdais] is 42. They still do really good and go racing. I still see that I've got some years left.

“As I say, if I enjoy myself here, what I came looking for, I may stay.”

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