until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Grosjean takes Juncos IndyCar seat vacated by Ilott

by Josh Suttill
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean will remain in IndyCar in 2024 after signing a deal to race alongside Agustin Canapino at Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Grosjean will replace Callum Ilott at the team after Juncos and Ilott announced their "mutual" split last Wednesday following two years racing together in IndyCar.

Grosjean was left without an IndyCar drive for 2024 when his partnership with Andretti broke down, something he has entered arbitration proceedings over.

While he did hold talks with Juncos earlier this year, his initial options appeared to be a move back to the Dale Coyne outfit that he began his IndyCar journey with in 2021 or an exit from IndyCar to focus on his top-class sportscar programme with Lamborghini.

But Juncos has moved to sign Grosjean for 2024, ousting Ilott and partnering Grosjean with Canapino.

“I’ve been closely following JHR’s ascension in the past few seasons. The team has showcased significant growth and I am eager to contribute my experience as we aim for a strong 2024 season,” said Grosjean.

Grosjean ended up 13th in the standings in both of his seasons racing with Andretti, having finished 15th during his part-time rookie year with Coyne in 2021.

His 2023 season started brightly enough with two second-place finishes and a pole position in the opening four rounds, a record that could have been even better without Grosjean crashing out at Texas or Scott McLaughlin taking him out while fighting with Grosjean for the lead in the St Petersburg season opener.

But his relationship with Andretti hit turbulence and continuing beyond 2023 together soon became untenable.

Romain Grosjean and Agustin Canapino, IndyCar

Despite a number of near-misses, Grosjean is yet to win an IndyCar race - with five second-place finishes across his 47 starts in three years.

Juncos - which recently entered into a "strategic alliance" with Arrow McLaren - is gearing up for its third season as a full-time entry, having originally competed part-time from 2017 to 2021.

Ilott is responsible for the team's two best results so far, fifth-place finishes in both the St Petersburg season opener and Laguna Seca season closer this year.

Team principal and co-owner Ricardo Juncos said: “Romain brings an unparalleled pedigree in motorsports. His leadership and experience are precisely what we need to propel JHR to new heights.”

What's happening in the rest of silly season?

Jack Benyon

Here are the seats that have either been confirmed or that we know are going to be filled soon.

Andretti Global: Marcus Ericsson, Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood, TBC (could shrink to three cars)
Arrow McLaren: David Malukas, Pato O’Ward, Alexander Rossi, Kyle Larson (Indy 500 only)
Dale Coyne: TBC, TBC
Chip Ganassi Racing: Marcus Armstrong, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, Linus Lundqvist, Kyffin Simpson
Ed Carpenter: Ed Carpenter/Christian Rasmussen (ovals/road and street), Rinus VeeKay
Juncos Hillinger: Agustin Canapino, Romain Grosjean
Meyer Shank: Tom Blomqvist, Felix Rosenqvist, Helio Castroneves (Indy 500 only)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan: Pietro Fittipaldi, Christian Lundgaard, Graham Rahal (agreed a contract, not yet confirmed), TBC (part-time fourth car for Juri Vips possible)
Team Penske: Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden, Will Power

The unconfirmed seats that are ripe for analysis fall at Dale Coyne Racing and AJ Foyt Racing.

The easiest way to approach this is to consider that there are three favourites to secure seats among the four that remain, as these drivers have the most budget to bring.

Sting Ray Robb (pictured above) was at Coyne last year and has the biggest budget but a second season at that team is far from a foregone conclusion. The other two drivers, Devlin DeFrancesco and Danial Frost (sixth in Indy NXT last year), have both been heavily linked with Coyne.

At Foyt, Benjamin Pedersen (below, #55) had reportedly signed a multi-year deal but his continuation is not believed to be as certain as has been reported elsewhere. The team is also considering Santino Ferrucci's place although he's not understood to have a deal beyond the 2023 season.

Ilott, Jack Harvey and Conor Daly were all ousted from full-time seats this year and will no doubt be interested in those remaining seats. Ex-McLaren driver Oliver Askew is again hoping for an IndyCar return, and Enzo Fittipaldi is set to test with Coyne.

Alongside Fittipaldi, his Formula 2 rival Theo Pourchaire talked up IndyCar at the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend but isn't believed to be a serious contender for a seat.

Bizarrely, no team appears to be likely to take a punt on Ferrari F1 reserve driver Robert Shwartzman, either.

Finally, Andretti's decision over whether to shrink to three cars or stick at four could be another potential story, with Tatiana Calderon linked to a fourth seat.

The team lost long-term sponsor DHL at the end of last season so faces a funding gap to plug, after giving Kyle Kirkwood a new deal, signing Marcus Ericsson to a considerable deal, and losing $1million in funding for its fourth entry from IndyCar's Leaders' Circle due to poor results.

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