SPEEDWAY — Seven rookies were celebrated ahead of the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Tuesday, and longtime Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean earned Fastest Rookie Honors.

Grosjean, who has 179 starts with F1, will begin the race ninth. Sunday’s qualifying run was only his third time racing on an oval.

“I’m very much a rookie,” said Grosjean. “I’m learning, but starting to enjoy it.”

Despite not getting into the Fast 6, Grosjean has been pleased working with his Andretti Autosport crew. The decision to become a full-time IndyCar driver was a no brainer. After ten podiums and not winning an F1 championship, he searched for another option.

“I wanted something new. I looked at which championship would be the most fun to drive, with fast cars, where I could win,” said Grosjean. “Indy came above the rest. I fell in love with it.”

Adding the Greatest Spectacle in Racing to his enormous resume is just the cherry on top of his first season driving ovals.

“It’s the best test in the world for your patience. You have to let the opportunities come to you.”

A win on Sunday for the Swiss-Frenchman would make him the first rookie to win the race since Alexander Rossi kissed the bricks in 2016.