Romain Grosjean to make F1 return in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard

Romain Grosjean will make his return to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car as part of a demonstration run for Mercedes at this year’s French Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean to make F1 return in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard

The 34-year-old Frenchman, who has been replaced at Haas for the 2021 season, was forced to miss the final two races of his F1 career due to the injuries he sustained in his huge fiery crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Grosjean was promised an opportunity to drive a Mercedes F1 car by Toto Wolff and the team has announced a special one-off test has been arranged at Paul Ricard.

Grosjean will drive Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 title-winning W10 car in a demonstration run at the French Grand Prix on 27 June, before getting a full day of running on 29 June.

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“I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car!” Grosjean said. “It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a World Championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience.

“I'm very grateful to Mercedes F1 and to Toto for the opportunity. The first I heard about the chance to drive a Mercedes was in my hospital bed in Bahrain when Toto was speaking to the media and made the invitation. Reading that news cheered me up a lot!

“F1 didn't get the chance to race in France during 2020 because of COVID so driving a Mercedes at the French Grand Prix in 2021 and then completing a test at the Circuit Paul Ricard, my home track, will be so special. I can't wait for the day to arrive.”

Mercedes invited Grosjean to its Brackley headquarters to undergo a seat fit at the end of March and spend time on the team’s simulator in preparation for his return to F1 machinery, seven months to the day since his accident.

Romain Grosjean to make F1 return in Mercedes test at Paul Ricard

“We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity,” 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.

“I have known Romain since his days in Formula Three when he won the Championship. He enjoyed a long and successful F1 career and we wanted to make sure that his final memories would be at the wheel of a championship-winning car. I'm excited to see what Romain's feedback on the W10 is.

“Romain's accident reminds us 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. I know the F1 community will celebrate seeing Romain back on track.”

Seven-time world champion Hamilton added: “I'm really happy to see Romain back in an F1 car after his accident last year. When it happened, we were all praying for him and seeing him walk away from it and recover so well was a massive relief.

“I'm looking forward to seeing him again in France and welcoming him to the team for the weekend - although he better look after my W10!”

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