There is still no clear indication of where Romain Grosjean will be plying his craft in 2021 as Haas have not yet announced their driver lineup. As a result, it is little surprise to hear that Romain Grosjean is keeping his eyes open to other opportunities and now we know he is “hugely interested” in Peugeot’s Hypercar programme for the FIA World Endurance Championship which would also mean a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Romain Grosjean had a very strong Eifel GP due to the fact he drove a clean race and kept a calm head finishing the race in 9th position and earning two crucial Formula One World Championship points. These points were the first of the 2020 season for Grosjean and saw him leapfrog his teammate Kevin Magnussen and the pair of Williams drivers - who find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table.
Speaking ahead of this strong drive at the Eifel GP Driver’s Press Conference, Grosjean made clear to the media that he is all too aware that his 2021 F1 seat is no way guaranteed.
“I think the maths are quite easy, there aren’t many seats left,” Grosjean said. “So in that aspect, there is a little bit less speculation, and also looking at other options as well outside of F1, to see what could be really tempting.
“I guess we will know soon enough for everyone, so luckily we don’t have to answer that question any more in the future.”
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner is in no hurry to announce who will race for Haas in 2021. Despite the fact that Steiner has revealed Callum Ilott is not currently on his shortlist of drivers for a potential 2021 Formula 1 seat, there a whole host of other racers who would be eager to ‘take’ Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen’s seat in 2021.
There are many in the paddock who feel that due to the fact Romain Grosjean has been racing for Haas since the American race team debuted in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2016 – he is irreplaceable. Many people believe that if Grosjean is in a position to be replaced then surely the end of 2019 was the time to do it. Whereas there are also those who feel that Romain Grosjean has taken Haas as far as he can and as such new blood is needed.
Speculation is rife in the paddock, that with Peugeot returning to the top category of sportscar racing in 2022 as part of the new Le Mans Hypercar class, the French manufacturer could prove a lifeline to Romain Grosjean if his F1 tenure comes to an end.
Motorsport.com asked the Frenchman this very question by enquiring as to whether the Peugeot project held any interest to Grosjean:
“A French constructor at one of the greatest races in the world, for sure it's a nice project,” Grosjean said. “I hope with hypercars, as many constructors as possible will come back and the endurance championship will enter another golden era.
“Toyota are doing a great job, but let's be real: nowadays, watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a car that's fighting its little sister, or big sister, is not very exciting.
“Peugeot is coming, there's Toyota and, I hope, other constructors. It will once again be a thrilling race whose result you never know, even five minutes from the end.”
When speaking of his interest in this new project, it is clear that Romain Grosjean considers his position as a powerful one:
“We will get in touch sometime, as this is a project I'm hugely interested in for the future,” Grosjean said.
Romain Grosjean is no stranger to the world of Le Mans seeing how he raced with Matech Competition in the 2010 season. The Frenchman already had two separate stints with Formula One so clearly he has no qualms about returning to race in familiar events.
Romain Grosjean is certainly a talented racing driver and on his day he has a race pace and skill of overtaking that is certain to be admired. Inevitably, a driver’s history can also come back to haunt them and Grosjean has had well documented lapses of judgement during his F1 career.
However, should the Eifel GP prove to be a turning point in the Frenchman’s season and he can back this up with another strong race in Portugal next weekend, there is every reason to believe that the Frenchman will still be racing for Haas in 2021.
Although, should this not be the case, it is clear that Romain Grosjean has his eyes wide open for many other opportunities.