IndyCar rookie Romain Grosjean has made it clear his wealth of experience in Formula 1 acts as no guarantee that he will be an immediate front-runner in his new surroundings.
Grosjean will race for Dale Coyne Racing in the No.51 Rick Ware Racing-Honda across 13 rounds of the 2021 IndyCar season on road and street courses.
The 34-year-old will find himself competing against other former F1 converts such as Max Chilton, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi and Marcus Ericsson.
“I’m a Formula 1 driver, ex-Formula 1 driver. A lot of people thought [when] I was coming, ‘Yeah, you’re going to win because you were an F1 driver’. I don’t think you should see it that way,” insisted Grosjean.
“Those guys have a lot of experience, they are super, super quick, they are top drivers. They’ve been here for a long time.
“I’ll focus on what I can do and what I can learn. I’m going to do my own work as much as I can.
“Nothing really beats the track and the races. That’s what I say, step by step. I’m a rookie, I need to learn things.”
The Frenchman has had a chance to get acclimatised to his new car, having tested at Barber Motorsports Park and Laguna Seca.
Despite his vast racing experience, Grosjean admits he will have to adjust to an array of new aspects of IndyCar racing.
“Confidence is getting better in the car, yes. But I need to remind myself I’m a rookie. Even though I got 20 years experience in racing, I’m a rookie,” he added.
“From the rolling start to the refuelling to the race tracks, there’s many, many things to learn. We will take step by step. We’ll see how things are going.
“But the whole team has been great helping me to find my marks. Honda has been really helpful as well in getting me up to speed, telling me all the procedures.
“The team has been really good. I feel like we’re having a good preparation, but there is nothing like experience.”
Grosjean will make his IndyCar race debut at Barber for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama on April 18.