Formula 1: Underrated storyline of Romain Grosjean’s IndyCar move

Romain Grosjean reuniting with Marcus Ericsson, who didn’t hit him at Baku, is an underrated, lighthearted storyline of the former Formula 1 driver’s move to IndyCar.

Romain Grosjean confirmed on Wednesday that he is set to make the move to IndyCar from Formula 1 in 2021, competing behind the wheel of the #51 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing in the 13 road and street course races on the 17-race schedule.

Before the 34-year-old Frenchman’s move to American open-wheel racing, the latest driver to leave Formula 1 and come to IndyCar for more than just a one-race deal was Marcus Ericsson.

Ericsson, who left the Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 team after the 2018 season, competed full-time for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2019 before moving to Chip Ganassi Racing, where he is set to compete for a second season in 2021.

So Grosjean is set to be reunited with the driver who infamously didn’t hit him during the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit.

Grosjean, trying to warm his tires during a safety car period late in that race, crashed his Haas hard into the wall. After that, his team infamously told him over the radio, “I think Ericsson hit us”, despite the fact that Grosjean clearly crashed on his own.

And those five words caused social media to blow up with jokes and other memes that are still used by fans to this day — even though Grosjean wasn’t the one who said them. For example, when Ericsson crashed on his own on his way into the pits during the 2019 Indy 500, fans joked that he had said “I think Grosjean hit us” over the radio.

If you somehow haven’t yet seen it in action, you get the idea.

So when these two inevitably find themselves in combat at one of Grosjean’s 13 scheduled events on the 2021 calendar, expect Twitter to go wild — Formula 1 Twitter more so than IndyCar Twitter.

And if they do make contact…let’s actually save that thought. On a side note — interestingly, Ericsson’s IndyCar number, 8, was Grosjean’s Formula 1 number.

Barber Motorsports Park is scheduled to get the 2021 IndyCar season underway on Sunday, April 18 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst following three early-season schedule changes stemming from coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.