ROMAIN GROSJEAN got back in the cockpit just 86 days after surviving a fiery smash in Bahrain.
After nine seasons in F1, the Frenchman has taken up a career in IndyCar.
Romain Grosjean returned to the cockpit just 86 days after surviving his horror accidentCredit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
He got behind the wheel again at the Barber Motorsports Park in AlabamaCredit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
The Frenchman made a miraculous escape at the Bahrain GP when his car burst into flamesCredit: Splash News
And he is getting up to speed with the new series – although admits he is still in some discomfort with his burned hands.
Grosjean, 34, cheated death in a crash in the Bahrain GP that was measured at 52G when his Haas car stuck a barrier and was ignited into a fireball.
But behind the wheel again at the Barber Motorsports Park he says he is adjusting to the new series with Dale Coyne Racing.
He said: “After the first run my biceps started hurting a bit, and I thought, ‘Okay, okay. Now we’re talking.’ You really feel the car.
“I guess you can drive it a little bit more with your driving style with the way you apply the brake and your turning and so on.
“You can actually use different lines, whereas in Formula One you may be more stuck to the ideal line because of how the aerodynamics work.
“[My hand] has actually done very well. I had a big snap and that was a bit painful. I expect those. I know it’s not fully recovered and is sensitive.”
He will now spend his time in the US series and he says he was surprised at just how friendly it was compared to the highly-secretive world of F1.
Grosjean added: “It’s a different car, a different position, but apart from that, everything felt great and normal.
“I just need to get used to a new car. It reminds me of when I was jumping from Formula Renault to Formula 3 and GP2. So far, I’ve been really happy with it.
“The mechanical grip of the car has been really good. I can really understand why you can get the racing good. The way the team works is really good.
“When I arrived, I was quite surprised to see that the cars are being set up here, and there’s no closed garage or tents.
“I really like it. You get to go into the pit lane, and I was talking to Sebastien Bourdais, and Takuma (Sato) came over, and we had a good chat next to his car.
“The talking is made on track, and whenever you remove your helmet it feels like everyone is friendly and likes to talk and chat.”
Grosjean’s new helmet was designed by children Sacha, Simon and Camille and features drawings of their petsCredit: Instagram @grosjeanromain
He admitted there is still some discomfort in his hands following the burnsCredit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
The driver was surprised at just how friendly IndyCar was compared to F1Credit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
Grosjean has joined Dale Coyne Racing for the US seriesCredit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
His new car has the No51 and his name and flag emblazoned on the sideCredit: IMS Photo – Joe Skibinski
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