Sitting amongst every single race suit he’s ever worn since 2000, Romain Grosjean radiates pride.
Most of us admire the current Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver for his journey in motorsport. He spent nearly a decade racing in Formula 1 donning the iconic #8 on his car while driving for Renault, Lotus, and Haas.
And even though that same number didn’t carry over to his current gig (he rocks with 28 now), Grosjean pays homage to his previous digit in the form of his sim racing team, R8G Esports.
“It was quite surprising to get an esports team, but [during] the pandemic I had an old friend of mine that worked for 14 years in Formula 1 that was really involved in esports. And he told me, ‘You should look into it.’ And you know, I always kept an eye on it, because it was there.”
Grosjean isn’t new to esports. He’s always had a passion for sim racing, dating back 10 years ago, actually.
“I was lucky in my life that, you know, the background behind me shows it,” the Swiss native alluded to his race suits. “Motorsport gave me a lot. [It] made my life and I thought, how can I give back?”
R8G eSports became more than just an idea and launched in April 2020 with just seven drivers, which grew to 30 by the end of the season.
Grosjean’s reignited love for esports continues to benefit the motorsport community by aiding young drivers through his passion project.
“We are really trying to push the boundaries. We are part of all the big championships. We were part of the Formula E: Accelerate, Le Mans Virtual Series and Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup on iRacing.
“Okay, not everyone will be good from sim racing to real-world, so there is still a bit of a difference. But I am convinced that we can find the next talent through esports. I am trying to push different programs to highlight this in the future.”
As for 10-time F1 podium finisher’s own esports ambitions, he recently competed in the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona alongside Jimmy Broadbent and openly discussed a desire to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual in the future.
For more on Grosjean’s esports background, his eponymous team and his hopes for the IndyCar season ahead, you can listen to the latest episode of the Traxion.GG Podcast – available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Featured image credit: Motorsport Images