Mercedes have announced that Romain Grosjean will drive for the team in an one-off test following the French Grand Prix next month.
This announcement comes just months after Grosjean escaped his exploding Haas in last November’s Bahrain Grand Prix with minor injuries, which brought his F1 career to an premature end having been released by Haas at end of last season.
Grosjean consequently was forced to miss the Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix and the chance to say a proper goodbye to the sport after nine consecutive seasons, having initially made his debut as a mid-season replacement at Renault in 2009.
Mercedes have therefore invited Grosjean to drive demonstration laps at next month’s French Grand Prix on 27 June, before participating in a specially-organised test two days later in 29 June to enable the Frenchman to get proper closure on his F1 career.
Speaking on being handed this opportunity to climb back into a F1 cockpit for one final time, Grosjean said; I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car! It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a World Championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience.”
Grosjean also acknowledged the fact that his home race was cancelled last season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which makes this opportunity of driving a Mercedes car as part of support events at his home race “so special.”
Explaining Mercedes’ decision to hand Grosjean these opportunities to drive for the team, Toto Wolff said; “The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in Formula One, and we didn’t want his accident to be his last moment in an F1 car.”
Wolff also admitted that Grosjean’s accident serves as a reminder “… of the dangers these guys face each time they climb into the cockpit but it’s also a testament to the incredible steps this sport has taken to improve safety over the years.”
Seven-time F1 World Champion and Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton also admitted that he is “really happy” to see Grosjean climbing back into a F1 car and can’t wait to have him link up with the team for the French GP weekend.
In order to prepare for this test, Grosjean has spent time working on Mercedes’ simulator at Brackley and underwent a seat fitting in late March.