Romain Grosjean has not ruled out making a comeback to Formula 1 if he is needed as a substitute in the event of a driver testing positive for coronavirus.

After losing his Haas seat at the end of the 2020 F1 season, Grosjean announced on Wednesday he has signed a deal to make his racing return in IndyCar with Dale Coyne at 13 of the upcoming 17-round campaign.

While the 34-year-old Frenchman considers his full-time F1 career to be a “closed book”, Grosjean would consider returning to the championship as a stand-in should more drivers contract COVID-19, but only if a decent opportunity presented itself.

Three drivers - Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton - were forced to miss races last year after returning positive tests, while Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, and Pierre Gasly have all contracted the virus during the off-season.

"I think it's a closed book but never say never," Grosjean said. "If there are any good opportunities in Formula 1, I would be more than happy to jump in.

"I've got the experience, and I think I can adapt myself to the car.

"We've seen with Pierre Gasly recently being positive with COVID, that COVID is still around, so there's always a risk that a driver may not compete in a race.

"Then, the most recent out of Formula 1 are Kevin [Magnussen], myself and Alex Albon, so we've got the experience and we know the most recent cars. So you could expect to get a call.

"But really, I think one thing I learned with my accident is that life is short and I want to have the choice to say no to something. And if it's being in Formula 1 to barely go out of Q1 once or twice a year, I mean that chapter is closed for me.

"I'd much rather look at other places where I can go race and potentially try to win races.”

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Grosjean, who explained that a “family choice” influenced his decision not to race ovals in his debut IndyCar season, admitted his escape from his fiery crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix had given him a new perspective on life.

“There is a before and an after and for sure I see life a bit different,” he added.

“But you always tend to go back to who you were, even though there is going to be scars on my hand, and scars on my brain. But not a negative scar on my brain, I think it’s more a positive one, an understanding of how quickly life can go away.

“I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to spend time with my kids and I’m happy to be able to decide where I want to go racing. I think that’s the big one for me.

“When you are in Formula 1, you really try to stay in Formula 1 at any cost. But now I’ve realised that it was great, I wouldn’t change anything in my career, but there is a lot more outside of Formula 1 and I’m more than ready for it.”

 

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