Romain Grosjean's brief debut back in 2009 hardly captured the imagination of anyone within the F1 paddock but this time the Frenchman seems a much more complete acquisition for his employers in their new Lotus colours.

Grosjean, hardly a veteran with just seven GPs under his belt, perhaps shouldn't be judged on his previous performance given the circumstances that threw the young Frenchman into his premature debut.

Nelson Piquet Jr's disastrous spell with Renault, coupled with his less than satisfactory race performances and the infamous 'crashgate' scandal, threw the then GP2 Asia series champion into the deep end.

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Needless to say, Grosjean could only manage a best finish of 13th at the Brazilian Grand Prix while only achieving a grid slot just one place higher at Monza, never troubling his more illustrious team-mate Fernando Alonso.

However, it should be said the 25-year old was learning his craft in what was a hugely inferior R29, not one of the Enstone based squad's finest creations.

This time round, the Swiss born Frenchman looks to have fallen on his feet in comparison to his last experience, no controversy surrounding his seat but once again has a more than capable team mate in the form of fellow returnee Kimi Raikkonen, who will prove as equally hard to beat if the Finn can stay motivated.

Grosjean, not only has a further two GP2 titles to his name since 2009, but also has full winter testing program behind him along with the occasional Friday run last season.

Furthermore, his chariot this season, the E20, looks to be a potential player in these early stages, now the team seem to have sorted their chassis woes.

Topping the first two days at the final Barcelona test certainly vindicates his intent and the E20's apparent performance.

However, it would be foolish to assume the Lotus man and his car can emulate their test form on the real grand prix stage, only time will tell whether both outfits are able to make an genuine impact during this highly anticipated season.

by Simon Evans