Grosjean grateful for 'special opportunity' as Mercedes keep F1 test promise

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Romain Grosjean is grateful for the "special opportunity" to test the 2019 Mercedes car at Paul Ricard next month.

The Frenchman, who now competes in IndyCar, saw his Formula 1 career ended early by the horrifying crash at Bahrain last year, which left Grosjean with severe burns to his hands.

Soon after the event, and the realisation Romain wouldn't race again, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff made a promise to give the 34-year-old a final test to ensure the accident wasn't his final memory of F1.

And now it has been confirmed Grosjean will complete demo laps on race day at the French Grand Prix before a full test day in the W10 at Paul Ricard on June 29.

"I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car!" Grosjean said after a seat-fitting in Brackley. "It will be a special opportunity for me and to drive a World Championship-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience.

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"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!"

And the fact his farewell drive will take place at his home Grand Prix only makes it better for Grosjean.

"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," he added.

As for Mercedes boss Wolff, he was very happy to see his heart-warming gesture become a reality.

"We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity," said the Austrian.


"The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in Formula One, 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 Three 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.

"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."

Finally, Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Grosjean before ending with a jovial warning...

"I’m really happy to see Romain back in an F1 car after his accident last year," commented the world champion.

"When it happened, we were all praying for him and seeing him walk away from it and recover so well was a massive relief.

"I’m looking forward to seeing him again in France and welcoming him to the team for the weekend - although he better look after my W10!"