Grosjean to test Mercedes title-winner at Paul Ricard in F1 comeback

Romain Grosjean will make his return to Formula 1 machinery next month when he completes a test day with Mercedes at Paul Ricard, seven months on from his fiery accident.

Grosjean made his final F1 start at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix when a first-lap accident tore his car in half and left him to escape the fire that engulfed his cockpit.

Grosjean emerged with burns to his hands that subsequently ruled him out of the final two races of the season, thus bringing an early end to his F1 career.

But he vowed to make a return to F1 machinery when possible, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff saying at the time that he would be happy to accommodate a test for Grosjean, paving the way for an announcement to be made on Wednesday.

Grosjean will get a full day testing the 2019 title-winning Mercedes W10 car at Paul Ricard on 29 June, as well as completing some demonstration laps in the car a few days earlier at the French Grand Prix.

Preparations for the test began in March when Grosjean visited the Mercedes factory at Brackley for a seat fitting and to undertake some simulator work, fitted around his commitments in IndyCar, where he is now racing a street and road course programme with Dale Coyne Racing.

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

“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.”

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“We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity,” Wolff added. “The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in Formula 1, 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 3 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.

Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG and Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG and Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

“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.”

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
1/5

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
2/5

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
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Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
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Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes
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Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Teams Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
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