Like Jimmie Johnson who was additionally in motion at IMS at this time, Grosjean’s try to finish the Rookie Orientation Programme was stymied by rain, just some laps shy of finishing the third and closing section, which requires the rookie to run 15 laps over 215mph.
However the former Components 1 driver, who has switched to the #28 Andretti Autosport after operating his rookie IndyCar season for Dale Coyne Racing, was drawing a number of positives after his first check with Michael Andretti’s squad and his first ever laps on Indy’s iconic oval.
“It is a very spectacular crew in the way in which they work, the way in which they function,” noticed the 35-year-old who skipped this 12 months’s Texas double-header in addition to the Indy 500. “Nevertheless it’s additionally a really open crew. Additionally they are very concerned with understanding what we have been doing with our automotive [at Coyne], how might we be so quick.
“It is a large crew, but in addition I like the truth that contained in the crew you may fly with your individual wings. It is not, like, tremendous inflexible the place you can not do something. I really feel like we have all of the assets we wish, however we will additionally do our work on our facet. If it does not work, we’ve the prospect to revert again to [the setup of] another person. If it really works, it looks like we will be onto one thing cool.”
He later added that having three team-mates – plus Andretti Autosport’s technical partnership with Meyer Shank Racing, who will run Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud subsequent 12 months – might be of monumental profit subsequent Might.
“The automotive set-up at this time was very, superb. It was form of straightforward to undergo the phases, which is nice. However I feel I nonetheless have to study so much on ovals.
“I feel that is why you may have a driver like Helio, that may win it greater than as soon as. One might be a fortunate day. Twice I doubt it is a fortunate day. 4 instances, he is doing one thing particular! It is nice that I am in a position to have a look at his information, what he is been doing, attempt to study as a lot as I can to do the identical.”
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport-Honda, IMS Rookie Orientation Program, Oct. 6, 2021.
Picture by: Chris Owens
Grosjean stated he had been listening attentively to recommendation and appreciated the presence of James Hinchcliffe, whose newest spell within the squad, at the very least as a full-time driver, is outwardly at an finish.
“I acquired some good explanations, some good ideas from the blokes, from the engineers,” Grosjean stated. “Additionally, James Hinchcliffe got here within the morning, which I appreciated so much. Michael was there, as nicely. Whenever you’ve acquired these guys, they know what they’re speaking about, in order that was nice to be with them and to know what to do.”
Requested what recommendation they supplied, Grosjean stated: “Take a look at the windsock, that was an excellent one. You do not give it some thought if you do not know about it.
“Do not go too low down the road and hit the within curbs. Pump your brake earlier than you get to the pit cease. A number of issues which are somewhat bit completely different from regular as a result of clearly in Gateway [scene of Grosjean’s oval debut] we have been utilizing the brakes. Whenever you have been coming to the field [in Gateway], they have been hot-ish – not tremendous sizzling, however there was warmth in them. Right here you are able to do 20 laps, 30 laps and you do not contact the brake. Whenever you are available, they’re chilly. It is not that pleasant.”
Provided that it was additionally Grosjean’s first check with Andretti Autosport, he found modifications between the in-cockpit preparations of the 2 automobiles.
“The steering wheel is completely different as a result of each crew can put the buttons the place they need,” he remarked. “I have to get used to them. I pressed just a few instances the overtake button [instead of] the pit velocity limiter – just a few issues like that. The display screen, the sprint, was a bit completely different as nicely. I used to be getting used to it.
“The cockpit feels just about the identical, particularly as a result of we might carry over my seat from Dale Coyne to Andretti. My seating place has been the identical. Solely factor is, I used to be utilizing a Ryan Hunter-Reay grip at this time on the steering wheel, while we’re going to do mine now. That was a bit completely different from what I might ideally like.”
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport
Picture by: Chris Owens
In contrast to a number of the extra skilled oval drivers, Grosjean stated he had the steering wheel set within the conventional method, with the highest of the wheel degree when the entrance wheels have been straight. Some drivers desire to have the wheel set-up whereby it seems to be turning proper on the straights in order that it turns into degree when pitching into the 4 bends.
“It was truly fairly straight within the straight, at the very least in comparison with Gateway,” stated Grosjean. “I feel Gateway was a bit completely different as a result of it is a tighter observe. Truly I realized perhaps Iowa might be extra. It felt fairly straight in comparison with Gateway. Even on the straight, the automotive needs to go left, however nowhere close to as unhealthy because it was in St. Louis.
“It felt OK. I do not know on ovals what I ought to have, so I just about copy what new team-mates Colton [Herta] and Alex [Rossi] are operating, then use that as a reference and study from there. To this point I did not really feel like something wanted an enormous change.”