Romain Grosjean is to drive a Mercedes on a one-off return to Formula 1 following his fiery accident at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean will do a demonstration run in Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 W10 at the French Grand Prix on 27 June, and a test at the same track two days later.
The Frenchman said getting back in an F1 car was “a special opportunity”.
The move honours a pledge made by team boss Toto Wolff as it became clear the crash would end Grosjean’s F1 career.
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said: “We are very happy to support Romain with this special opportunity. The idea first came when it looked like Romain would be ending his active career in F1 and we didn’t want his accident to be his last moment in an F1 car.
“I have known Romain since his days in Formula Three when he won the championship. He enjoyed a long and successful F1 career and we wanted to make sure that his final memories [of F1] would be at the wheel of a championship-winning car.
“Romain’s accident remains us of the dangers these guys face each time they climb into the cockpit, but it’s also a testament to the incredible steps this sport has taken to improve safety over the year. I know the F1 community will celebrate seeing Romain back on track.”
The 35-year-old suffered serious burns to his hands when his Haas car split the crash barrier in Bahrain, but has recovered full fitness and has switched to the US-based IndyCar series this year.
Grosjean said: “I’m very grateful to Mercedes F1 and to Toto for the opportunity. The first I heard about the chance to drive a Mercedes was in my hospital bed in Bahrain when Toto was speaking to the media and made the invitation. Reading that news cheered me up a lot.”
He added that doing the test in his home country, at a track where last year’s grand prix had to be cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, “will be so special”.
Hamilton said: “I’m really happy to see Romain back in an F1 car after his accident last year. When it happened, we were all praying for him and seeing him walk away from it and recover so well was a massive relief. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in France and welcoming him to the team for the weekend – although he better look after my W10!”