Grosjean 'felt like Zanardi' in Corkscrew passes for Laguna Seca podium charge

Romain Grosjean says he “felt a bit like Alex Zanardi” after his stunning drive to the podium with some wild overtakes at one of the most famed corner sequences on the IndyCar calendar.

Grosjean 'felt like Zanardi' in Corkscrew passes for Laguna Seca podium charge

During the 25th anniversary event of two-time series champion Zanardi’s famous ‘the pass’ move on Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew in 1996, Grosjean paid homage to the great Italian by overtaking a number of cars at the signature corner of the Laguna Seca track – including six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

Grosjean, whose future IndyCar plans should be revealed in the coming days, charged from 13th on the grid to score his third podium finish of the season in third place – passing 27 cars in total during the 95-lap race.

“I had a lot of passes on the Corkscrew, which was good,” said Grosjean. “Felt a bit like Zanardi, which is not a bad thing.”

The most dramatic moment of his race came when he collided with seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson at the Corkscrew in the closing laps of the race, both admitting they were fortunate to continue as Grosjean’s car briefly went airborne.

“I'm sorry we made contact with Jimmie,” said Grosjean. “I was definitely going in! I think Jimmie probably didn't see me. He was pushing hard to protect [second-placed team-mate] Alex [Palou] from me, which is the game. So we made a bit of contact.”

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

Johnson’s main concern was that he might receive a penalty for the clash, despite being on the receiving end of it as he was punted across the middle apex of the corner and missed the transponder on the corner. But Johnson continued to finish 17th of the 27-car field, which is his best result in the series to date and had earlier pulled off his own impressive pass at the Corkscrew on James Hinchcliffe.

“I thought our day was over,” admitted Johnson of the collision with Grosjean. “I couldn’t believe he threw it in that late on me. Luckily we both saved it!

“I thought I’d lost my wrist too, as the [steering] wheel went whipping around. I was worried about a penalty, but instead we got a career-best finish.”

shares
comments

Related video

Laguna Seca IndyCar: Herta converts pole to victory as Palou extends title lead

Previous article

Laguna Seca IndyCar: Herta converts pole to victory as Palou extends title lead

Next article

O'Ward proud of IndyCar title challenge but rues gap to Ganassi team

O'Ward proud of IndyCar title challenge but rues gap to Ganassi team
Load comments
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021