Grosjean heading towards Andretti contract extension
Romain Grosjean is in the final year of his contract with Andretti Autosport, and according to the Swiss-born Frenchman’s team owner, the driver of the No. 28 Honda is in the frame to receive an extension.
Asked if Grosjean’s strong start to 2023 with a pole at St. Petersburg, front-running performances at St. Pete and Texas Motor Speedway, and run to second at Long Beach has been enough to earn an invitation to remain in the seat for 2024 and beyond, Michael Andretti was effusive in his praise for the Formula 1 veteran who switched to IndyCar in 2021.
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“I think so,” Andretti told RACER. “He’s done a 180-degree turnaround on his approach. He’s just a different person this year.”
In switching from Dale Coyne Racing where he spent his rookie season to Andretti Autosport for 2022, few things went as planned for Grosjean alongside new teammates Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, and series newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco.
Highlights were sparse, with a second-place finish earned at the third round being his only podium visit of the year; placing 13th in the Drivers’ standings spoke to the frequent disenchantment between the driver and team as Herta and Rossi led the way with one race win apiece.
Entering the last season of the two-year deal, Grosjean has been a spark of positivity and speed within Andretti Autosport. It took a little while for both sides to get the best out of each other, but with Grosjean now serving as one of three constant threats to win alongside Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti is getting what he was looking for when he signed the 37-year-old to the program.
“We talked to him a lot about what he needed to improve, and he’s done just that,” Andretti said. “I couldn’t be happier with what Romain has done this year, with his approach and attitude, and it’s shown in his driving as well. It’s just an awesome story to see the way he’s turned things around. Really happy with him and for him.”
Like Grosjean, DeFrancesco’s two-year contract is up at the end of the season. Andretti acknowledged that funded drivers with a desire to wield a quick IndyCar have been inquiring about the No. 29 Honda’s future availability.
“I think a lot of people would love to be in that seat and have been asking about it,” he said. “But we haven’t made a decision yet on what we’re doing with the 29. We’re going to wait till midyear to make that final decision, so we’re going to have to wait and see.”