Lotus F1 confirms Grosjean, Maldonado for 2015Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:22:00 EST
With the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix now just ten days away, the focus is beginning to shift to next year's Formula One World Championship, with more and more pieces to the puzzle falling into place. And the latest news comes from the Lotus team. The Enstone-based outfit has confirmed that it's keeping both its drivers right where they are for next season, with Romain Grosjean partnering Pastor Maldonado once again.
Swiss driver Grosjean, now 28 years old, made his grand prix debut with the team in 2009, returned as test driver in 2011 while winning the GP2 title, returned to the F1 grid in 2012 and has been driving for the team ever since. He's scored nine podium finishes to date, but has finished no better than his eighth place this season.
Venezuelan pilot Maldonado, 29, won the GP2 the year before his teammate, and moved up to F1 with Williams, for whom he drove for three seasons before switching to Lotus for this one. He shocked the field when he won the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012, but has only finished in the points once this season.
The confirmation of their retention leaves only a few seats open for next season. Ferrari is expected to confirm Sebastian Vettel to replace Fernando Alonso, set to move to McLaren, which will in turn confirm his wingman for next season. Toro Rosso has one seat open, and a question mark still lingers over the future of the Caterham and Marussia teams that went bankrupt earlier this season.
The team now known as Lotus has been running Renault engines since Benetton (as it was then known) switched from Ford in 1995, but will be switching to Mercedes power for next season as longtime Mercedes partner McLaren brings Honda back into the fold.
Romain Grosjean confirmed for 2015
Wednesday 19th November
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 team's previous iteration of Renault for the latter part of the 2009 season. He was previously part of Enstone's long-standing young driver programme.
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team driver:
"It's fantastic for me to be continuing with Lotus F1 Team for 2015 and it's superb to have the support of everyone at Enstone. It's no secret that we've had a really tough season this year, but the team has remained focused and we're all determined to return to regular points-scoring in 2015. I have been spending a lot of time recently at Enstone and I'm 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 I'll be pushing to do the best job possible in Abu Dhabi before my focus switches fully to 2015."
Gérard Lopez, co-Chairman and Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team:
"It 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 can't wait to harness his potential with Mercedes-Benz power in 2015."
By Noah Joseph
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