Romain Grosjean believes Scott McLaughlin should get a test in Formula 1 machinery, describing the Penske driver as “very special” after his transition to IndyCar.
McLaughlin won the Supercars Championship for three straight seasons from 2018-2020 before joining IndyCar full time in 2021, and won three races as he finished fourth in the standings last season. Grosjean believes the recent performances of Alex Palou in an F1 car shows the level of drivers in IndyCar needs respecting when it comes to FIA Super License points, but his standout driver who he wants to see get a chance is the 29-year-old New Zealander.
“One of the best examples was when Palou came to COTA to do FP1 for McLaren and on the same tires as Lando (Norris) he was two or three tenths off, which is very, very good,” Grosjean told MotorSport Magazine.
“Colton (Herta), the picture was bigger. He has got the capacity and speed to be in F1. But if you look at his career he has never won a championship. So I also understand why he doesn’t have the points for a Super License because he hasn’t won Indy Lights or IndyCar, so why would we give him the points if he doesn’t have them?
“What I think is wrong is the amount of points we get in IndyCar. I think it should be at least at Formula 2 level, maybe more because the level is up there. There are some very fast drivers. So I think that is wrong. But the fact he didn’t have the points because he hadn’t won a championship, I get.
“But there are drivers that are very talented. One of the guys that amazed me the most is Scott McLaughlin. I think he should have a test in F1, he would be fast. That guy is very special.”
Grosjean – who now races for Andretti Autosport after making 179 starts in Formula 1 – believes McLaughlin’s background shows he has the ability to handle the demands of F1, as his limited IndyCar experience didn’t stop him fighting for the championship in 2022.
“Absolutely. If you think he did Supercars for so many years and is doing so well in IndyCar now, it’s very natural. I think IndyCar works a little bit different than F1 in the way you need to have experience in the race and that’s why you see the old guys doing pretty good. But the racing is tough and the competition is up there.
“You can’t go on a quali lap thinking, ‘OK, I’m going to do 95 percent because I know I’ve got a good car.’ It won’t be enough, you need every single lap to be 100 per cent, and that’s a challenge but it’s pretty fun.”