A must see video of Romain Grosjean jumping the curb and slamming Jimmie Johnson to force a pass at Laguna Seca
On Sunday, the NTT Indycar Series visited Laguna Seca. The California track stretches 2.238-miles with 300 feet of elevation change.
Arguably, the ‘Grosjean Show’ began on Friday before the race. Grosjean took the pace car out for a lap and proceeded to crash it.
A track where they say, “You can’t pass.” Instead, Romain Grosjean stole the show and blew out that theory with a missile launcher.
Watch the Romian Grosjean passing video below.
Most of the bold moves came in turn one. Grosjean would dive deep to the inside under braking and complete the pass. In most of those cases, he came from 4+ car lengths back, and still made the pass.
With 22 laps to go, Grosjean pitted for the final time. He cycled out in 7th, 25 seconds back of race leader Colton Herta. Grosjean installed the softer red tires and he pitted last of everyone in the top 10. The charge was on…
With 15 to go, He entered wide into turn one to get a run off the corner. He then pulled along the outside of O’Ward into turn two and completed the pass on the outside, brilliant!
12 to go, Grosjean closed on Rahal for 3rd. He stuck it down on the inside of turn one from four car lengths back to complete the pass.
Next up, Grosjean had heavy lap traffic to work through before he could catch the second place runner of Palou. He was also 10 seconds behind Palou.
Romain Grosjean vs Jimmie Johnson
Grosjean caught the bumper of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was a lap down but running 17th, which would be his highest finish to date in his debut Indycar season.
Chip Ganassi Racing told Johnson over the radio, “If the No. 51 gets to you, you gotta make him work for it.”
Heading into the corkscrew, Grosjean trailed Johnson by five car lengths. But, it didn’t matter, Grosjean was late to the brakes and he pulled even with Johnson by the corner entry.
The front wheels of Grosjean’s machine were locked up as Johnson was already turning into the corner. Grosjean was left no choice but to jump over the curb. With only the right rear on the ground, Grosjean threw a body slam at Johnson. Both drivers nearly crashed but Grosjean completed the pass.
Grosjean was able to climb to within 1 second of Palou in the battle for 2nd. However, following the contact with Johnson, some speed was taken out of the car due to the damage. Grosjean was unable to attempt a pass on Palou.
Race winner Herta was surprised to hear Grosjean finished 3rd. He asked, “Didn’t we lap Grosjean?”
After the race, Grosjean climbed from his car with his hands in the air. He didn’t win but he climbed to the podium. The fans cheered as the price of admission was justified by Grosjean himself.
Jimmie Johnson tweeted on Monday, “Trade helmets on Friday, trade paint on Sunday.”
Romain Grosjean comments
It was the first time Grosjean had seen Laguna Seca. The driver made 27 on-track passes and 15 of those were for position.
“We had some amazing passes,” Grosjean said in a post race social media video.
“The corkscrew was definitely my favorite place to dive on the brake. A shunt with Jimmie Johnson, which I feel a bit bad about. But so happy that we get a podium today. It was a great day.”
He also told NBC Sports, “The last stint was very fun because we were on new tires and fresher than everyone else. So, that was exciting.
In the middle part of the race, when we went long on those [hard] black [tires] just to make the strategy work. Was a bit less fun.”
“I’m sorry to Jimmie for contact out there. He was trying to protect Alex and I wanted to go and chase Alex. P13 to P3, it’s a pretty good day.”
Grosjean concluded, “Laguna Seca, I love you.”
Grosjean was the highlight reel of the race. Over half of the official Indycar video highlights from the event involved Grosjean.