Grosjean delighted, shocked after scoring first podium since 2013 US GP in Belgium

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Romain Grosjean was left in shock after securing his first podium finish in Formula 1 since the 2013 United States Grand Prix in Belgium on Sunday.

Grosjean had shown signs of good pace throughout the weekend, qualifying fourth on Saturday. However, he was dropped back to ninth on the grid for the start due to a gearbox change.

The Frenchman managed to pick his way through the field during the race, rising up to third place before making his final pit stop.

Grosjean emerged behind Sebastian Vettel, who was trying to make a one-stop strategy work and go to the end on a worn set of tires.

On the penultimate lap of the race, Vettel suffered a tire failure coming onto the Kemmel Straight, causing him to drop down the order. Much to the surprise of Grosjean, this handed the Frenchman his first podium finish in over 18 months.

“It has been an incredible weekend for us,” Grosjean said. “A great qualifying yesterday, unfortunately we had that grid penalty, and then a good race.

“I still can’t believe that we are on the podium. The guys have been working hard to give us the car to be able to be here today.”

The result was made all the sweeter for Grosjean given that it came at Spa, the site of his accident in 2012 that saw him receive a one-race ban from F1.

“Of course going into turn one, everytime I take a start at Spa, I remember 2012, but I think it made me stronger, and indeed it allowed me to [finish] ten times on the podium,” Grosjean said.

“Being here today is kind of special I think. For us, it is the prize of a race win.”

Ryan Norman returns to Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport in 2019

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Ryan Norman will return to Andretti Autosport for their third season together in 2019 after scoring his first win and first pole with that organization in 2018.

I’m really excited to finally make it official that I’ll be returning to Andretti Autosport for my third season competing in Indy Lights,” said Norman in a press release. “We’ve built a solid foundation over the past two years and I’m ready to fight for wins, podiums and ultimately the championship, with such a great group of people who have become like a family to me.”

Norman finished 2018 fourth in the championship, earning his first career win in race 15 of the 17-race schedule at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.

Norman’s first pole came in the finale at Portland International Raceway in September, but he crashed on the first lap and finished last (8th).

“We’re very happy that Ryan is rejoining us for his third season of Indy Lights,” said Andretti Autosport President, JF Thormann. “We were pleased with his performance this past season, and his potential as a driver began to really shine after his win at Gateway. He’s right on track with his progression plan put together by his engineering team, and we feel strongly that he has what it takes to be a contender for the 2019 championship.”

Norman will essentially replace teammates Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta, who will race for Rookie of the Year honors in IndyCar next season.  O’Ward finished first in the Indy Lights standings last year; Herta finished second.

Norman’s 2019 campaign will begin on the streets of St. Petersburgh, Florida March 9, 2019. That will be the first of a double-header with Race 2 running the following day.