The Lotus F1 Team are close to announcing who will be Pastor Maldonado’s team-mate for the 2015 Formula 1 season, with Romain Grosjean close to being retained for another year.
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi insisted that talks with the Frenchman have been on going with regards to extending the long association between the team and Grosjean into another year.
“Romain is in pole position for that place and honestly it’s a case of us finalizing a few details,” said Gastaldi. “We expect to have an announcement very shortly. Like the technical package confirmation there has been a lot going on in the offices at Enstone, as well as the pits and paddock. It is all looking very good and exciting for the team going forwards.”
Grosjean made his F1 debut for the Enstone team when it was called Renault back at the European Grand Prix in 2009 when he replaced Nelson Piquet Jr, and re-joined the team, now called Lotus in 2012. His best results have been a couple of second places, at the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2013 United States Grand Prix, but his results in 2014 have been disappointing as Lotus have struggled from the offset with the design of their car.
Despite his future still being up for discussion, Grosjean has yet to confirm his own intentions, and joked that it was fun to keep the media guessing where he’ll race in 2015.
“Maybe we think it’s fun to keep the media speculating,” laughed Grosjean. “Honestly, we’re very close to having something to announce but there’s no pressure on when we say something.”
Although not revealing his 2015 destination, he did admit that he was looking forward to testing next year’s car that will be the first Lotus with a Mercedes power unit, and Grosjean said he knew of the Mercedes link-up a while before it was officially announced.
“This is something we’ve known about internally for quite some time and I know the engineering department are very excited,” insisted Grosjean. “For myself I can’t wait to get to testing next season as that’s when we’ll know if next year’s car is any good.”