Lotus team boss Eric Boullier says he feels his French driver Romain Grosjean has what it takes to become an F1 title winner.
Grosjean showed his speed last year with a number of impressive performances during his first full season in the sport, although he was also embroiled in a series of controversial incidents on track; one of which – at Spa – resulted in a one race ban.
The former GP2 title winner has admitted that removing mistakes and being more consistent behind the wheel is one of his main aims for the season ahead, and Boullier said he had no doubt that the 26-year-old was capable of getting right to the top.
"I believe Romain can become world champion,” he was quoted by the Guardian
That's why we kept him. Because we believe he's got the talent. He's definitely got the speed. The new Romain is a very different to the one three months ago. He's much more focused. He's not wasting any energy, any time on the useless things F1 can create.
"He is also one of the few drivers who has won every championship he has entered. Lewis Hamilton achieved it, and so did Nico Hülkenberg. But Vettel has not. I'm sorry."
Boullier added that his driver had allowed himself to get too distracted last year but was more focused on the job at hand going into 2013.
"Last year he tried too hard,” he said. “He wanted to show everyone that that was a mistake. But there were other reasons too. He didn't manage his time away from the track well. There were too many distractions. Even his marriage was a distraction.
"But now he's different. He's proved he can win races and win championships. So why not the Formula One world championship?"