Having already confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will be staying at Enstone next season, Lotus has admitted that it is aiming to secure an unchanged line-up for 2015.
Speaking ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi revealed that talks were already underway with Romain Grosjean, who would move into a third season with Lotus should a deal be reached. The Frenchman has scored Lotus' only points so far in a disappointing 2014 campaign, finishing eighth in the back-to-back races in Spain and Monaco but, despite hints that he may look to move elsewhere next season, Gastaldi is keen to keep him on board.
“Romain has been part of the Lotus F1 family for many years, even since his GP2 days,” he pointed out, “Let's be honest…. Romain, as a top, top driver, is not happy with the 2014 season - and this is mirrored by everyone at the team. We cannot confirm anything just yet as the timing will be right when we are both comfortable to announce something. All I can say is that it's certainly the intention for Romain to stay at Enstone and continue what has been a great partnership and working relationship.”
Maldonado's 're-signing' was little more than a formality, Gastaldi explained, with the Venezuelan moving into a second year with Lotus in 2015.
“We were validating the deal we have with Pastor, confirming that we have a multi-year deal, reinforcing from both sides our commitment to each other - it's a renewal of vows after a tough honeymoon, if you like!” he reasoned,
“Myself and Gérard Lopez spent a lot of time with Pastor in Hockenheim, where we sat down and discussed the future, which was all very positive. Pastor is very much part of the future at Enstone and it was a matter of routine for both parties to confirm that he has a multi-year deal and will be in one of our cockpits next season. We are very happy to confirm this in public, as is Pastor and his partners.”