Romain Grosjean, Andretti, IndyCar, Indianapolis, 2021

Grosjean ‘amazed’ to be voted most popular driver after one year in IndyCar

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean has been named IndyCar fans’ favourite driver in an official survey

In brief

Grosjean named IndyCar’s most popular driver by fans

Andretti driver Romain Grosjean has been named IndyCar’s most popular driver by fans after the results of an official survey by the series were published.

Almost 12% of fans named the former F1 driver as their single favourite racer in the series, with almost one-third of responders placing Grosjean in their top three drivers.

Grosjean will begin his second season in IndyCar this weekend at the opening round in St. Petersburg with Andretti, after a rookie year with Dale Coyne Racing in 2021, where he finished the year 15th in the overall standings having missed all of the oval rounds bar Gateway.

“It felt amazing,” said Grosjean. “After only one year in IndyCar, being voted most popular or favourite driver has been quite incredible.”

Having raced 10 full seasons in Formula 1 between 2009 and 2020, Grosjean’s career came to an end after he survived a horrific crash and fire in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, leaving him with severe burns on his hand.

Pato O’Ward was named the second most popular of IndyCar’s drivers, with Helio Castroneves third.

Mercedes trial new driver numbers

Hamilton’s driver number in yellow…
…and Russell’s in blue

The new coloured outlines around the driver numbers on Mercedes’ W13s which appeared during yesterday’s final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona drew an immediate reaction on social media.

George Russell was the first of the Mercedes drivers to run in Friday’s morning session, with his number 63 on the car’s nose and engine cover sporting a blue outline around it. In the afternoon, team mate Lewis Hamilton’s number 44 featured a yellow outline.

The choice of blue and yellow prompted speculation the colours might be a reference to the Ukrainian national flag. However a Mercedes spokesperson said the similarity was a coincidence and the change had been made to help fans distinguish between the two cars, with Hamilton’s yellow colouring matching the onboard camera housing which will be seen at races.

Schumacher blanks out Uralkali

Schumacher amended his overalls
While Haas removed the Uralkali logos from their car and facilities yesterday, taking them off the team kit at short notice wasn’t an option.

Mick Schumacher, however, made sure the logos were not visible on his overalls, and appeared by the pit wall in them even though he was unable to drive during the day due to a technical problem.

F1 planning “spectacle” for Bahrain

F1 will make a “big spectacle” of its new cars for 2022 when testing continues in Bahrain in two weeks’ time, says AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost, after fans criticised the decision not to broadcast the first test for the new machines live.

“We said the real presentation and launch of the new cars will be in Bahrain and not here in Barcelona, and therefore this was agreed between the teams,” said Tost. “And we would have a big announcement and then spectacle and camera teams, film teams in Bahrain. This was what teams, FOM and the FIA decided.”

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Comment of the day

With Formula 1 reporting a £68m profit for the 2021 season, reader PeterG feels that Formula 1 is becoming too costly to follow live…

Would be nice if these revenues were used in a way to make the sport more assessable to fans via lower ticket prices (this is why I really miss in-season testing where tickets were cheap or free which gave fans more opportunities to go watch trackside and more often) but also via making it available live on free TV or via F1 TV been made available in more places.

Got an E-mail today saying our Sky subscription is going up in price yet again and it’s reached the point where we can no longer afford it so we phoned to cancel which means that for the first time since the early 90s when the BBC didn’t air every round live I will be forced to watch highlights this year via Channel 4 and I simply do not and never have enjoyed watching highlights so this year for me F1 will be less exciting because of that.
PeterG

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Madbikerbob and Mitzi !

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Roberto Guerrero gave the new Ensign N181 its first test at Brands Hatch

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 27 comments on “Grosjean ‘amazed’ to be voted most popular driver after one year in IndyCar”

    1. @peterg, I heartily agree, the F1 highlights aren’t worth watching as no effort is made to provide a timeline or match the commentary with what is now on screen so it’s only good for watching crashes, if that’s what floats your boat. I now watch F1 on YouTube.

      1. Please move apostrophe 7 words back. Sigh.

        1. 2nd apostrophe that is. Arrgh!

          1. @Hohum I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve wished there was an edit button many times.

            @peterg I steal F1. I feel bad about it. And i’m not trying to condone theft. But it’s just that I fall completely through the gap on how F1 is delivered. I move about too much, so I can’t really justify subscriptions. I stay with my mum in the UK and she recently took Sky broadband, we looked at how much the F1 channel was and I baulked at the price.

            F1 streams are really easy, they don’t get taken down. Just have an old laptop under the TV and a HDMI lead and once you find the right link you’re good to go. If the F1 app was available where I go, I’d happily throw £200 a year at it, I wouldn’t hesitate, I could watch wherever I go. But I can’t without using a VPN (which again isn’t what you’re supposed to do).

            My point isn’t that it’s cool to steal, just that it’s very easy to steal F1. I could come to your house and with a ten minute tutorial and an old Macbook you’d be fine.

            In the back of my mind, I tell myself that once these contracts with Sky & Foxtel (kinda closely related) and others expire, Liberty will move to something more like a global subscription service. And I’ll be the first to sign up. I love F1.

            I watch football, mostly Champions League and Premier League and that is a lot harder. Streams get taken down all the time, you get used to it, also you just accept listening to commentary in Arabic or Russian. F1 doesn’t have the same hardline approach. Liberty are either ambivalent to it (unlikely), or just see it as ‘they’re watching’, and once it’s available they’ll pay for the subscription service.

            F1 is very easy to watch online for free, the only problem you have once it comes up on the screen is figuring out what channel you’re on, and whether Di Resta is speaking Arabic or Russian.

            1. @bernasaurus – Same. I cancelled Sky after the end of last season. I’ll happily pay for F1TV when they make it available in the UK but until then, there are multiple ways to watch for free. Either live in ok quality or within 30 minutes of the race finishing in HD.

              I can’t justify paying for an entire Sky subscription when all I really watch is F1 and terrestrial channels that are free anyway.

              I’d feel bad if I had the option to pay for F1TV but as they have chosen to not make it available to me, I see it as them refusing to allow me to pay them. Their choice.

            2. I thought that F1TV in the UK would match the offering stateside but from what I’ve read over the last few days I think I’m wrong.

              I’ve only paid for access at $27 for the year, vs $80 for live coverage (before you ask, some states, including California, don’t charge sales tax for digital purchases, so I mean $27 inc. tax). Mainly as live races are usually too early in the morning for me. Getting up as a 10 year old to watch a race at 2am/3am as a one off was fun a few decades ago. Getting up at 6am (in California) every other weekend? I’ve got other things I need to do now, and I fit watching races when I can. With sessions being uploaded on F1TV Access 2 days after they happen, I can live with that – and the extra $50.

              I can also accept that F1 in the US remains a niche sport – it has nothing on Nascar in terms of viewing numbers, in part due to the time of day that most races take place. It does draw similar numbers against Indycar though, which is impressive given it’s US based focus.

              But F1 isn’t a niche sport in the UK. It’s been 10 years since Sky took the rights and I’d argue that Ben Edwards was far better than David Croft ever has been on TV (his style was perfect for radio when it was him alone, but he’s terrible on TV). I’m getting away from the point though – I think I read that the races from last year were only recently made available in the UK on F1TV, as in within the last few weeks. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but if that’s correct that’s a terrible sign of the strength of Sky’s control of providing Liberty with money and having to pay for Sky to watch races in full. even if not live.

              I only pay because it’s the most viable choice here. Partly due to the time of day, mainly due to most races being on cable and therefore needing to pay similar fees to those that Sky charge anyway. As I said I understand that for the US market, but not for anywhere in Europe.

              As an aside, it’s not lost on me that I’ve seen more live Premier League football in the 3 years since I moved to the US than I have done ever since the Premier League was formed, as the 5:15pm evening game is on NBC. It says a lot that it’s easy to watch sports with a regional bias when you’re not in the country or continent of origin.

    2. Spot on with COTD. I justified paying for foxtel in Australia because it had a full suite of motorsport but foxtel lost WEC last year and Indycar this year so it’s getting ever more difficult to justify. I’ll have to switch to a cheaper and lesser quality streaming service I suspect.

    3. Seeing the pitiable state of F1 broadcasting in the UK I feel better about our situation in India where if you want to watch it on satellite it costs around 0.1 pounds (₹11) per month in our currency (though not a dedicated F1 channel) and if you want to watch it on a streaming service live it costs the equivalent of 10 pounds (₹1000) for a subscription (annual). The catch is that we only get the live broadcast of the race, quali and practice sessions, not even Martin’s grid walk. We also don’t get any other special coverage or pre and post race shows.

    4. I didn’t notice those yellow sides yesterday.

      A clever temporary way of covering Uralkari.

      Since Latifi had received death threats, I assumed Masi had equally, so unsurprising. Still unacceptable.

      1. @jerejj though also rather hypocritical of Horner given that his comments a race earlier about Masi and about the marshals drove many to make those sorts of threats as well, since they saw his remarks as encouragement to attack those “rogue marshals”.

        1. It’s remarkable how quickly people forget how hypocritical Horner is

        2. @anon @Graig

          You can’t attribute blame for threats on those who merely criticize, but this is surely another case of Lewisfans showing their bias.

          1. @aapje Blind partisanship is a terrible thing. Both hardcore Lewis and hardcore Max fans behaved abhorrently terribly last year.

            1. But @aapje see no wrong from Verstappen’s fans.

            2. @x303

              I’ve never said that, but the truth is foreign to the likes of you.

    5. That looks roughly like a number 6 on Russells car to me.
      I can’t see a 63 no matter how I twist my head and squint.

      and nice to see Romain Grosjean getting some love :)

    6. I’m glad Mercedes is doing something to make it easier to spot either driver. Tbh, I wish they forced teams to run different coloured halos or something, because now with it partially covering the driver helmet, it’s hard to know who’s who. And specially in the case of Mercedes now, George chose a very similar colour scheme for his helmet as Lewis…

      1. 100% agree on the coloured halo. It was a no brainier when it was introduced. It should’ve been mandated once we saw the red halos on the Mercs after Nikki Lauda died. It would increase the identity of the drivers, who are the real stars of the ‘show’ that Liberty are trying to sell.

      2. @fer-no65 They don’t use the red and yellow camera mounts anymore? That always made it easy to spot (if you remember who got the red and who got the yellow, of course)

        1. @losd It’s black and yellow nowadays.

          1. @mashiat wow, you’re right. I was sure they were still red and yellow, but watching a 2021 race recap confirmed it. How could I watch the entire 2021 season (or… Has it been even longer?) and not notice? That’s crazy :D

            1. @losd I’m going to blow your mind even further here…it’s been like that since the start of 2013. Have a look at any of the images from 2013, you’ll see the likes of Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel etc. using black camera mounts.

      3. I agree. From my fairly limited experience of attending races, I found it really difficult to tell team mates apart. Different colour halos would be a great idea! The numbers are not really big enough to see at speed.

    7. Re: COTD. In Finland, the situation (and pricing) of watching F1 live has actually improved vastly, as F1 TV Pro became available this year. The cost (around 110€/year) is now the same as in 2007, when F1 went behind a pay-wall here. What inflation? :P

      Then again, if you want Finnish commentary, you have to pay 40€/month for the Viasat service, that is around 4 times more than the official OTT service. Yikes!

    8. It seems that Grosjean has happily found his niche. I hope he has a long and successful Indy career.

      1. @ferrox-glideh Agree completely. Was going to say I am not at all surprised he got this vote, as his joy and enthusiasm for being in Indycar has been infectious from the start. He is so grateful, and as well he is doing great on the track. He’s really found a home in Indycar. I’ll be pulling for him again this year along with the RLL team’s drivers because I’m a Rahal and a Letterman fan. Plus Hinchcliffe is no longer in it.

        1. @robbie At least he’s still the mayor of Hinchtown ;)

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