IndyCar: Romain Grosjean’s frustrating year summed up by one stat

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport, Formula 1 (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport, Formula 1 (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

A disappointing first full IndyCar season continued for Romain Grosjean on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

A 16th place finish at the venue where Romain Grosjean earned two career-best second place results in his rookie IndyCar season last year was not what he expected when the series made its annual summer return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second road course race.

And even a 16th place finish in Saturday afternoon’s 85-lap race around the 13-turn, 2.439-mile (3.925-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana road course, which was one spot better than his May finish at the track, may have been somewhat generous, considering where he was throughout the weekend.

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After a respectable doubleheader at Iowa Speedway which saw the driver of the #28 Honda finish in seventh and ninth place in two oval races, Saturday’s result continued a rather frustrating first full season for Grosjean at Andretti Autosport.

Through 13 of the season’s 17 races, he sits in 14th place in the championship standings.

That is just one spot higher than he finished last year — driving part-time for Dale Coyne Racing.

Aside from the oval race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, where he finished in 14th place, Grosjean only competed in the road and street course races last year. Unlike this season, he did not compete in the double points-paying Indy 500.

And he managed to finish in 15th place in the championship standings, higher than seven full-time drivers — including Ryan Hunter-Reay, the man he replaced behind the wheel of the #28 Honda in 2022.

In fact, he finished just one spot behind Team Penske rookie Scott McLaughlin, who ran the full schedule and earned Rookie of the Year honors as a result of his 14th place effort.

This season, Grosjean entered as one of the drivers many believed was capable of winning the championship. With all due respect to Dale Coyne’s team, Michael Andretti’s team has long been considered one of the “Big Three” and is seen as much more of a contender.

Even in a season during which they have struggled to find consistency, they are tied for second place on the wins list. Dale Coyne Racing, meanwhile, are seeking their first win in more than four years.

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Yet through 13 races, Grosjean sits just 11 points higher than the position he finished in last year when he only competed in 13 of 16 races.