Romain Grosjean exhibits strong pace at Detroit albeit a premature race end putting paid to his efforts
Step One Motorsports ambassador and IndyCar Andretti Autosport driver Romain Grosjean took to the streets of Detroit, Michigan on its new temporary course in the city’s downtown region. The race, known as the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, was on a nine-turn circuit that spans 1.7 miles (2.736 kilometers). In contrast to the previous Detroit layout at Belle Isle, this layout is significantly smaller and has fewer corners at just nine, now featuring one long straightaway – with the intent to provide the opportunity for overtaking – as well as a series of very sharp 90-degree turns. It was familiar territory, in terms of the city, but in every other aspect, unknowns were quite literally at every corner.
Saturday’s qualifying featured Grosjean laying down strong lap times in an intense session on his way to securing a P3 start for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Nearly immediately upon the green flag waving, a caution was waved due to an incident further back in the field, but Grosjean held onto his position. By lap 19 of the 100 scheduled laps, he’d placed himself in second, then holding strong in this position until the Andretti Autosport driver ran wide in Turn Eight, losing ground but able to continue by first going through the pits. A clean, solid stop for Grosjean led to equally solid lap times being laid down, and by lap 47 he found himself in P7 as another yellow flag came out, bunching up the field. Despite several on-track moments elsewhere in the field, the Swiss-French driver kept it steady to maintain his position. Unfortunately, with less than 20 laps remaining Grosjean experienced a suspension failure that caused him to make contact with the wall, ending his race prematurely and putting paid to his efforts.
Grosjean will next hit the track with IndyCar at the aptly named road course, Road America, in Plymouth, Wisconsin (17-18 June 2023).