3 July 2014
Grosjean considering Lotus future
Romain Grosjean admits that his F1 future is undecided, but that past loyalties could be put aside in his pursuit of that elusive first grand prix victory
Romain Grosjean admits that his F1 future is unclear as the 2014 season moves into its second half, and would not rule out a change of scene next year.
With uncertainty over the Lotus team's future direction amid rumours that it may switch from Renault to Mercedes power, and the squad's clear dependency on well-heeled drivers after taking Pastor Maldonado to partner Grosjean this season, the Frenchman admits that there is a lot to ponder heading into the British Grand Prix weekend.
The paddock grapevine has been linking Grosjean to a possible reunion with former Lotus team boss Eric Boullier, now at McLaren, but with the Woking operation already dealing with more talent than it has cars to fill, Grosjean knows that his ability behind the wheel will have to count for as much as his relationships in pit-lane.
“You always think about your future,” he admitted, “I've been here for a little bit and I know the team very well, but I want to win races as well, so things are open. Its always a problem that people need money, and drivers get money, but I think I've done enough to deserve a place [in F1].”
But wouldn't jumping ship from Lotus, particularly if lands Mercedes engines, to another team – and notably to McLaren just as it enters a new era with Honda power – would be something of a gamble? Grosjean shrugged the question off…
“You always tend to think that the grass of your neighbour is greener than yours, but sometimes it is and sometimes it's not,” he philosophised, “Every time you change something, there is a risk - if you change the engine, there is a risk; you change the staff, there is a risk; change the team, there is a risk - but we take risks every time we are in the car, so its part of the job.”
Remaining with a Mercedes-powered Lotus team for 2015 would also mean the end of a lengthy partnership with Renault, but Grosjean admits that he needs to keep his eye on the longer-term.
“I think a relationship is more than just a sticker on the car, so we will keep going together,” he said, “Renault has been an important part of my career, without them I could not have made it to GP2 or even F3 but, again, what we want is the best performance.
“[Switching to Mercedes] could be [enough to make Lotus a viable prospect] but it's in its early stages. What I really want now is to win my first grand prix and try to become world champion - that is what I am focusing on. I know that we have some very good people and that the team has been brought back to fighting level and all those things, but I'll see later.
“I need to get back in the [fight]. I miss fighting for podiums and drinking champagne on Sunday afternoons. That's what I want, it's what all of us want, but when you taste it once, you want to taste it for a long time!”
Not ruling out the possibility of moving on, however, also drew the question of whether he would countenance teaming up with former Renault colleague Fernando Alonso at Ferrari.
“It's a different stage [of my career],” he reflected, “[Last time] I was very young and didn't have any experience in F1. I think, today, things would be different... I get on well with him, so it wouldn't be a problem on my side.”
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