Romain Grosjean has named his surprise pick for an IndyCar driver who the Frenchman believes could do well in Formula 1.
The link between Formula 1 and IndyCar seems to be getting stronger with each passing year, but so far driver movements have been largely in one direction.
Grosjean is one of many F1 drivers to make the switch to the American series, but drivers who take the opposite route have found life trickier.
Colton Herta came close earlier this year when Red Bull sought to install him as a replacement for Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, but was turned down by the FIA due to Herta’s lack of superlicense points.
Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou are also IndyCar drivers and both got a taste of life in an F1 car through McLaren, but with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri signed to the F1 team for the foreseeable future their path seems also hitting a wall.
Grosjean, who left F1 in 2020, said Palou’s example in the FP1 session of the United States Grand Prix was proof that the skill level between the two groups of drivers is closer than most people don’t think so.
“One of the best examples was when [Alex] Palou came to COTA to do FP1 for McLaren and on the same tires as Lando [Norris] was only two or three tenths away, which is very, very good,” he said Motor Sport.
“For Colton, the picture was bigger. He has the capacity and the speed to be in F1. But if you look at his career, he never won a championship, in Indy Lights or IndyCar. So I also understand why he doesn’t have the points for a superlicense.
“What I think is wrong is the number of points we get in IndyCar. I think it should be at least Formula 2 level, maybe more because the level is up there. There are very fast drivers.
Grosjean is not the only IndyCar driver to express his rage over the lack of IndyCar superlicence points with O’Ward told PlanetF1.com that the current system was a “joke”.
But the name that Grosjean thought most deserved a Formula 1 test is not often mentioned, Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin.
“The guy who surprised me the most was Scott McLaughlin,” Grosjesn said. I think he should try in F1, he would be fast. This guy is very special.
Grosjean will expand his driving resume again in 2023 by competing in the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship.
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