Romain Grosjean is keen to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup with his Haas Formula 1 team’s sister outfit Stewart-Haas Racing, but says there is no firm timescale for it.
Haas chief operating officer Joe Custer said earlier this week the team was serious about fielding Grosjean in a NASCAR race, and the F1 racer confirmed ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix that he wants it to happen.
“Definitely I want to do it,” Grosjean told reporters in the Barcelona paddock on Thursday. “It’s something we discussed since day one and it would be a great experience. When it happens, I don’t know. With 21 [F1] races it is quite tight. You don’t want to start on an oval, I wouldn’t be very comfortable. We will find what is possible to do.”
Haas F1 founder Gene Haas co-owns the SHR NASCAR team with three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart.
The squad currently fields the maximum four cars permitted under NASCAR regulations, and the chances of full-time drivers Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Stewart or Danica Patrick moving aside for Grosjean are remote.
Entering Grosjean via another team could be a possibility. SHR has an affiliation with the midfield HScott Motorsports team that is currently running Clint Bowyer before he moves over to replace Stewart after his retirement from driving at the end of 2016.
The Cup calendar includes only two non-ovals – Sonoma and Watkins Glen. Neither clashes with an F1 race this year.
Though the majority of Grosjean’s motorsport career has been spent in single-seaters, he contested the first part of the 2010 GT1 World Championship season in a Matech Ford after losing his Renault F1 drive and was a race-winner. But he does not think that GT experience would have any relevance to NASCAR.
“It is heavier and more powerful, the brakes don’t look the best in the world,” he said when asked if his sportscar stint might help the transition. “There is a lot of contact, it would be a lot to learn. But why not?”