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19 November 2014

Romain Grosjean confirmed for 2015

Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Romain Grosjean will continue to drive for the team in 2015 as it embarks on its first season with Mercedes-Benz power. Romain will continue to partner Pastor Maldonado, who was confirmed for 2015 earlier this year.

Romain has driven for Lotus F1 Team continuously since the start of the 2011 season as well as driving for the teamís previous iteration of Renault for the latter part of the 2009 season. He was previously part of Enstoneís long-standing young driver programme.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team driver:
ďItís fantastic for me to be continuing with Lotus F1 Team for 2015 and itís superb to have the support of everyone at Enstone. Itís no secret that weíve had a really tough season this year, but the team has remained focused and weíre all determined to return to regular points-scoring in 2015. I have been spending a lot of time recently at Enstone and Iím feeling very positive about the potential of the E23, which should represent a return to form for the team. We have one race left in 2014 so Iíll be pushing to do the best job possible in Abu Dhabi before my focus switches fully to 2015.Ē

Gťrard Lopez, co-Chairman and Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team:
ďIt is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team alongside Pastor Maldonado next season. You really learn something about a driver when they have the chips against them and Romain has delivered impeccably in 2014 despite the very big challenges he has faced. We know that Romain will always get the most out of the car at his disposal, which is why we canít wait to harness his potential with Mercedes-Benz power in 2015.Ē

(image: Lotus F1 Team)

Romain gives his insight on his future with Lotus F1 Team

On the day of his confirmation as driving for Lotus F1 Team for 2015, Romain Grosjean answers the questions and gives a little insight into the hows, wheres and whys of his future with the team.

How does it feel to finally announce your 2015 plans?
Weíve been waiting to announce it for a while now so itís really good to finally confirm that I will be staying with the team next season. My fingerís been poised over the tweet button for quite a while and there might even have been a little jump-start! Fortunately, thereís no stop and go penalty!

Why Lotus F1 Team?
I think we make a great combination. Weíve been working together for a long time now and I certainly didnít want to leave on a performance low like weíve seen in 2014 as weíve enjoyed some beautiful moments together. It would have just felt wrong to say goodbye in a tough patch like we have had in 2014, because I know what everyone at Enstone is capable of. Moments like this can either make you stronger or destroy you and Iím sure that the team is only going to learn from what has been a hard year.

Weíve seen (and heard!) some frustration from you in 2014, but whatís your vibe looking to the future?
Iím very pleased, happy and proud to be part of Lotus F1 Team for next year and excited at the prospect of being powered by the Mercedes engine which has looked so strong this year. The E23 should be a good step forward, building on all the lessons from 2014. Iíve spent a lot of time at the factory working with everyone, and the relationship I have with the team is very strong. Weíve had some good moments and tough ones and we always stay together, which makes it even more attractive for the future.

After what has been a trying season, do you expect the team to come back stronger next year?
Itís easier to say than to do, but I firmly believe that you always learn much more from difficult rather than easy situations. Not only has the team learnt an enormous amount this season, but I think Iíve also improved massively. Two years ago Iíd probably have dealt with this situation completely differently but Iíve managed to stay composed. Iím looking forward to seeing us work hard and develop during the winter. We all now have a much clearer picture of what we are focusing on and avoiding in terms of plans for the E23. Weíve been working on it for quite some time and things seem positive, so I really hope when I get in the car at pre-season testing I get that special feeling when you know itís going to be a good season. Iím not saying we will be back at our 2013 levels when we were extraordinarily good for the size of our budget that we had. Personally, I am hoping we can challenge the front runners, score a few podiums and points and get back into the top five in the Constructorsí Championship and I want to taste champagne with the team again!

How deep have you had to dig this season, how tough has it been?
News like this helps me a lot to forget about the difficult moments. Of course when youíre out on track itís not always easy and sometimes I show my passion to succeed on the radio as weíve had quite a bit of frustration this year. Equally, every time we go in to the engineersí office we sit and learn. For 2015 we have many lessons we can put into practice.

How much contact will you have with the factory during the off-season?
I live around 45 minutes away from the factory so Iíll be popping in regularly to see how things are going and how development on the car is progressing. If ever the team needs me, they just call me and Iíll come down and see if I can help, although some of my fabrication skills are probably best not employed on a Formula 1 car!