Despite having yet to make an official announcement regarding his plans for next season, Romain Grosjean gave the biggest hint yet that he will be back at Lotus by admitting that he can't wait to try its nascent Mercedes-powered car.
While the F1 world waits on Fernando Alonso to confirm his future plans, Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi has already suggested that Grosjean is close to re-signing for 2015 [ see separate story
], and the Frenchman's obvious anticipation of sampling F1-leading Mercedes power only served to underline the expectation of a fourth year in black-and-gold
“This is something we've known about internally for quite some time and I know the engineering department are very excited,” Grosjean confirmed, “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.”
Asked why there has been no announcement regarding his whereabouts for 2015, the impish Frenchman suggested that 'maybe we think it's fun to keep the media speculating!'.
“Honestly, we're very close to having something to announce but there's no pressure on when we say something,” he added.
Grosjean remains the Lotus team's only scorer in a fraught 2014 campaign, but has not made the top ten since Monaco and accepts that the final three races of the season – beginning in Austin next weekend – could be tough, despite the E22 continuing to feature new developments..
“The E22's nose is pretty distinct so it will be unusual seeing it with something different on the front,” he admitted, “This is part of the team's evaluations for 2015, and the nose is designed to gather information for next year. I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like, but my main focus is the race weekend.
“It's amazing just how quickly this season has passed, even if it seemed a long, hard slog at times. We head to Austin, Brazil and Abu Dhabi determined to get the most we can from the race weekends and also using some of the practice time to evaluate different aspects of the car to gain more data for 2015.”