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Wolff 'gives his word' Grosjean F1 test will happen

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says there are no doubts that Romain Grosjean’s Formula 1 test with his team will go ahead – even though the plans have hit delays.

Romain Grosjean, Mercedes

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

In the wake of Grosjean’s fiery crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes offered the Frenchman a test as a final farewell to F1 – as it didn’t want his last experience in a car to have been his accident.

The original plan was for the test to take place at the 2021 French Grand Prix, but travel and quarantine restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic meant the run had to be abandoned.

Rescheduling it has also not proved especially easy, with Grosjean now committed to racing in IndyCar, and F1 having very strict limits on testing during the season.

The test had appeared to have been put on the backburner, but interest around it resurfaced recently when Romain Grosjean offered a glimpse of the crash helmet he had specially prepared for it.

Having posted a video on YouTube revealing the collection of racing gear he has at his house, he pulled from the shelf the Mercedes F1 test helmet that has been readied.

“Everyone is asking about the Mercedes test,” he said as he revealed that helmet that featured a number of Mercedes sponsors. “Well, there is the helmet. The test hasn’t happened yet, but we’ve got a helmet ready for it...”

Asked about the latest on the Mercedes test, Wolff was adamant that it had not been forgotten – and made it clear that it would go ahead when the team and driver could agree on a date.

“The test is going to happen for sure,” said Wolff. “We’ve committed to it. [We are seeing] what we can do and what he can do. But that is going to happen. When I give my word, I give my word.”

 

Speaking earlier this year, Grosjean said that Wolff was well aware that the test was still to be sorted, as they messaged each other in the aftermath of last year’s F1 season finale.

“I sent a message to Toto after Abu Dhabi,” said Grosjean. “Well, I left a couple of weeks, a few weeks going by, and then I sent a message to Toto, and he did reply. He started ‘Thank you,’ and then the last sentence was, ‘We need to get you in that car this year.’

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“Yes, it's still on the cards. There were a few things last year that didn't make it easy. This year I cannot go at the French Grand Prix because we're racing in Iowa the same weekend.

"But definitely Mercedes is keen to do it, I am keen to do it, even though my neck will be dying because I've lost part of the muscle there. You can ask Pato [O’Ward] what it was like [in an F1 car].”

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