Like Jimmie Johnson who was additionally in motion at IMS right this moment, Grosjean’s try to finish the Rookie Orientation Programme was stymied by rain, only a few laps shy of finishing the third and last section, which requires the rookie to run 15 laps over 215mph.
However the former System 1 driver, who has switched to the #28 Andretti Autosport after working his rookie IndyCar season for Dale Coyne Racing, was drawing a number of positives after his first take a look at with Michael Andretti’s squad and his first ever laps on Indy’s iconic oval.
“It is a very spectacular workforce in the best way they work, the best way 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 workforce. In addition they are very focused on understanding what we have been doing with our automotive [at Coyne], how might we be so quick.
“It is a huge workforce, but in addition I like the truth that contained in the workforce you may fly with your individual wings. It is not, like, tremendous inflexible the place you can’t do something. I really feel like we have got all of the sources we would like, however we are able to additionally do our work on our facet. If it would not work, we’ve the possibility to revert again to [the setup of] another person. If it really works, it seems 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 – will probably be of huge profit subsequent Might.
“The automotive set-up right this moment was very, superb. It was form of simple to undergo the phases, which is nice. However I believe I nonetheless have to be taught rather a lot on ovals.
“I believe that is why you’ve got 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 ready to have a look at his information, what he is been doing, attempt to be taught as a lot as I can to do the identical.”
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport-Honda, IMS Rookie Orientation Program, Oct. 6, 2021.
Photograph by: Chris Owens
Grosjean mentioned 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 seemingly at an finish.
“I acquired some good explanations, some good suggestions from the blokes, from the engineers,” Grosjean mentioned. “Additionally, James Hinchcliffe got here within the morning, which I appreciated rather a lot. Michael was there, as properly. Once 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 offered, Grosjean mentioned: “Have a look at the windsock, that was a superb 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 might be slightly bit totally different from regular as a result of clearly in Gateway [scene of Grosjean’s oval debut] we have been utilizing the brakes. Once you have been coming to the field [in Gateway], they have been hot-ish – not tremendous scorching, however there was warmth in them. Right here you are able to do 20 laps, 30 laps and you do not contact the brake. Once you are available, they’re chilly. It is not that pleasant.”
Provided that it was additionally Grosjean’s first take a look at with Andretti Autosport, he found modifications between the in-cockpit preparations of the 2 automobiles.
“The steering wheel is totally different as a result of each workforce can put the buttons the place they need,” he remarked. “I have to get used to them. I pressed a number of instances the overtake button [instead of] the pit pace limiter – a number of issues like that. The display screen, the sprint, was a bit totally different as properly. 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 right this moment on the steering wheel, while we’re going to do mine now. That was a bit totally different from what I would ideally like.”
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport
Photograph by: Chris Owens
In contrast to among the extra skilled oval drivers, Grosjean mentioned 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 want 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,” mentioned Grosjean. “I believe Gateway was a bit totally different as a result of it is a tighter monitor. Really I realized perhaps Iowa might be extra. It felt fairly straight in comparison with Gateway. Even on the straight, the automotive desires 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 working, then use that as a reference and be taught from there. Up to now I did not really feel like something wanted an enormous change.”