Grosjean happy with 'very normal' first IndyCar test, touts 'excitement' vs. F1

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Romain Grosjean enjoyed a "very normal" return to the track for the first time since his fiery crash in Bahrain this week.

The Frenchman was in Alabama for his first IndyCar test with Dale Coyne Racing, as he prepares to race in all the road course events in 2021.

And after a solid day of driving, Grosjean's first impression of his new team and car was good.

"It felt very normal," he said. "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.

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"The mechanical grip of the car has been really good, I can really understand why you can get good racing. The way the team works is really good. It’s different, but I’m happy with that.

"Trying to adapt myself has been quite smooth. I think the more testing we have, the better it is, but I’m also very much looking forward for it to be the 17th and 18th of April to go racing."

With his left hand still not fully healed from the burns he suffered in Bahrain, Grosjean did admit to a few painful moments, particularly correcting slides.

But that wasn't the only physical challenge he admitted to.

"After the first run my biceps started hurting a bit, and I thought: ‘OK, OK. Now we’re talking,’" he said. "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.

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"You can actually use different lines, whereas in Formula 1 you may be more stuck to the ideal line because of how the aerodynamics work.

"I made a mistake this morning, and I spun (in Turn 1). I was stuck in the gravel. (The track) has consequences, and you need to stay within the limits, which I always quite enjoy."

Before the test, Grosjean also reiterated his enthusiasm for the next challenge in his racing career.

“I've watched 18 hours and 36 minutes of IndyCar racing over the last couple of months,” he smiled, speaking with the official IndyCar website.

“I think the excitement comes from the fact that in Formula 1, after Turn 1 you normally know what the race result will be just because you know the pace of the car.

“Some things can change, but nowhere as much as in IndyCar.”

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And the 34-year-old was also pleasantly surprised by what he saw upon arriving in Alabama.

"When I came yesterday, I was quite surprised to see that the cars are being set up here, and there’s no closed garage or tents," he said. "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, but whenever you remove your helmet it feels like everyone is friendly and likes to talk and chat."