Romain Grosjean is searching for a better IndyCar future with his move to Juncos Hollinger Racing. To turn that hope into reality, a commitment to remain calm and focused from the team and driver will be required if they want to get the most out of the relationship.
Coming from an often disappointing and occasionally combative relationship with his former team, Andretti Global, the open-wheel veteran and self-avowed perfectionist sees great potential within JHR, but he will need to manage his expectations for the midfield organization as it attempts to perform at a higher level. Mistakes will be made, which means tempers could flare, and it’s here where Grosjean says he’s fully aware of the combustible surroundings he’s chosen.
“Well, I’ve tried to avoid explosions as much as I can,” he told RACER. “But we’ll see. I think time will tell. I think I’m aware of all those questions. I think that’s a big talking point right now. We may be surprising[ly] good and we may be surprising[ly] bad. I’ll do my best for sure on my hand on my end and I’ll try to improve and I think you can always improve in life. And thank God I’m not perfect.
“But I also feel like it could be a different atmosphere and feeling, and an ongoing relationship with Juncos. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the time that I spent with Ricardo [Juncos] — got lucky to spend quite a bit of time with him in COTA during the Formula 1 weekend, which was nice. I think we are aware of that potential situation.”
In moving to his third team in three years, Grosjean also arrives at JHR without his trusty race engineer Olivier Boisson, who worked with him to great effect in 2021 at Dale Coyne Racing and went with him to Andretti in 2022-23. With Boisson staying at Andretti to run Grosjean’s replacement, 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, the new driver of the No. 77 JHR Chevy will embark on building a relationship with technical director Yves Touron and the rest of the entry’s engineering team in the months ahead.
“It’s going to be a difference,” he said. “When I joined Andretti, I had Olivier coming with me so that made the transition a little bit easier. But also I’m excited to discover new talents, new people, a new way of working in IndyCar. So that’s something I’ve done through all my career and I’m excited that that I get the chance to do that. It’s good that Yves is French as well so I get the chance to practice my French over the race weekend.”