Grosjean to remain at Lotus in 2013

2013 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean will continue to drive for Lotus in 2013, the team has confirmed.

Team principal Eric Bopullier said: “Romain is a great talent and we are pleased that he is continuing with us for a second season.

“With the continuity of two exceptional drivers like Romain and Kimi [Raikkonen] we are well placed to build on our strong 2012 with even better results in the year ahead.

“Both drivers worked very well together in their first year as team-mates, and I think there is the potential of even better things from the season ahead. We were regular visitors to podiums in 2012 and we certainly intend to continue with this trend in 2013.”

Grosjean finished on the podium three times during 2012 but also drew criticism following a series of collisions on the opening laps of races. He was banned for one race after crashing into several drivers at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.

He said it was “fantastic” to be continuing with the team next year: “It’s superb to have the support of everyone at Enstone.

“I’m really looking forward to rewarding their faith when we take to the track in Australia. I learnt a lot in my first full season in Formula 1 and my aim is to put these lessons into practice with stronger and more consistent performance on track next year.

“There are a lot of exciting developments occurring behind the scenes at Enstone and I am very excited with the prospect of the E21. I’ve already had my seat fitting and spoken with all the personnel involved with the build of the new car. I just can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”

Grosjean, who won the Race of Champions in Thailand yesterday, added: “My target is to do better, always better, and to score as many points as possible for the team. Do the best race for me and work properly all year long to improve gradually.

“Hopefully we will get a good car again to start of the season with. Then go through all the first lap and then just do what we can do and have some very good results.”

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Grosjean to remain at Lotus in 2013”

  1. Surprised, but not surprised… If that makes sense…

    1. it does, i feel the same. it means 1 less vacant seat for those that would deserve it, and i’m not saying that Gross-Jean does not deserve it, but he was simply lucky to jump in a top car as almost a rookie, and wasted his season, and the 3rd, maybe the 2nd place in constructors. meanwhile there are many drivers that never have the chance to drive such a competitive car, just because the team principal is not their manager. he needs to prove that he is worth trusting.

      1. wasted his season, and the 3rd, maybe the 2nd place in constructors

        He’d need to match the very in form Kimi for that to happen, and I don’t think that he didn’t is a fair criticism given much of his bad luck. Grosjean is a very talented driver, but he needs experience before he’ll be able to show that.

        1. right, he needs experience. but let’s just think of another sport, soccer. you are the manager of barcelona, and you have a promising player under your wings, that shines in youngster tournaments, and the only step ahead of him is the first team. maybe you’ll let him taste it for a few times, but most certainly you will loan him to breake into the first team. you absolutley do not let him gain that experience with your first team, as you are fighting with the very best of the teams, and you need 11 mature players to compete.

          Grosjean tasted how does it feel to be in the first team, but he was not ready, and having Fernando Alonso on his side didn’t help him either. so he went down one league, and impressed there. but that’s simply not enough. performing well in junior cathegories means nothing here. i could have imagined a solution that happened to Ricciardo: he spent a half season at HRT last year, before he could join to Toro Rosso, and competing in F1, even if in the weakest team helped him much much more than for example a title could have in GP2. and one day he will probably be the one replacing Mark Webber at the Red Bull. but no one would have been that silly to put him in the Red Bull, in a winning car in his first GP. there are certain steps that a driver has to take before he can set eyes on a front runner car. very few exceptional talents can afford themselves to skip those steps, Hamilton was one of them, Grosjean is not one of them.

          so again, he has the talent, period.
          he needs experience, period.
          but Lotus is not the team that can afford itself to have a driver that although talented, but his lack of experience gets him and others in trouble. bad luck happens, but it does happen rather to those that have less experince.
          however, Lotus could have loaned him to Caterham this year, and iancen case of a solid season, he could have been brought to Lotus for 2013. it did not happen this way, and Grosjean suffers from it pretty much. however, after having him at Lotus this year, it would not make sense to loan him now, so his only chance is to take a deep breath and deliver results close to Räikkönen, otherwise he could find himself elbowed out in the middle of the season. if Lotus kept postponing the announcement of extending his ontract despite the fact that team principal Eric Boullier is his manager, tells a lot, especially that the team considered a couple of other drivers as his replacement, and might bring them in if his performance and consistency and error proneness does not change.

    2. I’m not surprised, I always thought it was more or less a done deal, they were just making him sweat a bit (I must have had some reason for that, but I can’t remember it). I’m also pleased for him, not just because he’s a nice guy, but because I think he does have pace and hopefully next year he will make good on his potential and stay out of trouble.

  2. Great news. As Gerard Lopez said, such fast drivers don’t grow on trees and hopefully Romain won’t waste this opportunity, like he almost did this year.

  3. I wonder if there are performacne clauses in this. I dont think Lotus will have the patience to keep him if he repeats his antics of 2012.

    1. Much oh which wasn’t his fault.

      1. I remember differently. There arent many incidents which he was blameless in, most were his fault, perhaps 50/50 at best.

  4. I’m not sure why, but I am a little disappointed.

    1. I knew it was unlikely, but I was hoping Kobayashi would get that second seat. As it is, I have to put my faith in VJ to pick Koba up for 2013.. And I’m not sure I can see that happening as VJ has a mixed record when it comes to picking drivers. Hulkenberg was his best choice and he couldn’t keep him.

      1. Hulkenberg was his best choice and he couldn’t keep him.

        Not sure if its Vijay’s fault if he couldnt keep Nico. Nico apparently had a multi-year contract with FI and Vijay also had expressed interest in retaining him when rumours of him switching to Sauber surfaced. But if he didnt want to stay, cant blame him for that. Its similiar, not same, as Lewis and McLaren.

        I have to put my faith in VJ to pick Koba up for 2013

        So do I. Prefer him over Adrian. But i wont be surprised if Kamui, or Jamie, is selected as the third driver if Adrian is the seat.

      2. I don’t think there was anything serious linking Kobayashi to the Lotus seat beyond people noticing that the team had a spare seat and Kobayashi didn’t have a drive.

        As for Force India, Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi and Sebastien Buemi are tipped as the favourites for the spare seat. There has been nothing to suggest Kobayashi is even being considered.

    2. @formula-1 I also feel disappointed. Not because I wanted a particular driver to get Lotus seat, but because I find it really frustrating that Grosjean keeps hitting other drivers and doesn’t seem to learn (or care).

      1. @hotbottoms

        Grosjean keeps hitting other drivers and doesn’t seem to learn (or care).

        Not sure wat makes you say that. I mean, do you have link or quote thats says he does not want to learn or does not care. Am jus curious.

        1. Here is a link to your question.

          I like Grosjean and believe with some help he can be a world champion but he
          must become eager to learn from those around him before that will happen.

  5. I’m glad Grosjean still has a seat but he does need to improve and I think he will over the break. We’ll have to wait and see

  6. Although he crashed allot, he has proved hes also pretty quick so I can see why they’ve kept him, I just hope he’s learned from his mistakes.

    1. Sadly for team like Lotus, they need results every race in order to make them self established top team. Only thing they got right now is Raikkonen, nothing else to fall back on when points slip away.

      Just imagine how good they would feel if Romain would have scored at least another 50% of his points tally in his year when he had to prove him self, now he gets another chance. All the best.

  7. (just posted this in an different article. posting it again with slight changes of course!)

    Romain is definitely a guy to watch out for in F1. And am saying it not jus because he won the RoC!! He’s got the speed and the talent is there to see. Needs to work out his race starts and have a clean pass through the first corner, thats all. While dropping him from the team, Lotus F1, would have been a bit harsh in my opinion, he deserves another chance in the team next year. If Vitaly can learn from the bad starts he had in 2010 and improve in 2011, i am sure Romain can too.

    1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
      17th December 2012, 18:37

      RoC is single pilot per track, like qualifing in F1, but these doesn’t matter if you crash in race.

      1. I know. Crashing in races, while costly to other driver, ask Alonso, are mistakes in rectified and worked on. Its the talent that counts and he has it.

        And am saying it not jus because he won the RoC!!

        That was my obviously weak attempt at being sarcastic for that who feel that he didnt deserve another chance.

  8. I’m glad the team have retained him because he’s clearly quick enough and at times he showed up very well against an extremely accomplished team mate.

    But he’s just got to keep out of trouble next year. I hope he spends the winter scrutinising his driving in some of the unnecessary incidents he got involved in during the season.

    1. I concur, when he wasn’t in red shell mode he showed some pace vs Kimi, performing fantastically well vs Alonso in Canada, despite having tyres with the same laps on as Fernando.

      1. @beneverard He did 55 laps and was actually still going faster than the 2-stopping Hamilton at the end in Canada. That was magical, but a one-off courtesy Pirellottery.

        1. And also in Silverstone Pitted in Lap 3 or 4 but Managed a 2 stop strategy like others but Made almost 25 laps on each set of hard tires by setting Fastest laps in the End of Last stint too.

    2. Agreed + his infectious smile :)

    3. Fully agree with that Keith, I think he shows enough promise that its worth giving him the chance to show he can do it without getting into too many accidents.

      Getting a bit of a boost with winning the ROC and finishing second with Ogier in the Nations cup should help him get back from being too cautious, as he has probably been in the last couple of races.

    4. This is a great decision from Lotus. The guy is clearly really quick, he proved that at the start of the year by beating Kimi before his unfortunate crashes. Even when you look back at his crashes now so many of them are genuinely very unlucky, no one can possibly blame him for the incident with Maldonado in Australia or Perez in Spain.

      The Race of Champions win will certainly give him the confidence boost he needs but I think the most important thing is a fresh start, it will do him the whole world of good. Just look at Lewis Hamilton, last year he seemed to be a magnet to other cars, just like Grosjean was this year, but no way would you get rid of him because of his speed.

      If Grosjean cuts out the mistakes I can see him having a brilliant season and if the Lotus is as good as it was last year, he may even win a race or two.

      1. @tommyb89

        The Race of Champions win

        The timing is a it odd from that point of view – almost as if they’ve said “He beat Tom Kristensen in a 60-second race in a buggy? Sign him up!” Of course I don’t imagine they said anything of the sort.

        1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
          17th December 2012, 18:43

          I’ll repeat here too, RoC is single pilot per track. Nobody contested him to be slow in one lap, but in a full race.

          1. @sorin

            I don’t get how this is related :S

          2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
            17th December 2012, 19:30

            Is not related is just an info, about RoC. Because everybody says..”omg, he won it, he deserves a wheel in F1, for that”.

          3. @sorin But I wasn’t saying that. Which I think I made pretty clear.

        2. @keithcollantine He did beat Petrov in the group stage last year, then beat him to the Lotus seat as well… :)

      2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
        17th December 2012, 18:41


        by beating Kimi before his unfortunate crashes

        He crashed in Australia, man , first race of the year, so “before” means in testing? Raikkonen beated there too. Pluuus, in all the races when Grosjean finished, he beated Raikkonen one time in Canada.

        1. @sorin

          So, basically, wats your point?

          1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
            17th December 2012, 19:05

            The afirmation in quotes is so wrong. That’s my point.

    5. He had to be retained as Maldonado had … Okay they both had affairs this year and their drives were not always the prettiest but those two have proven they have talent and great speed. Even if I think Grosjean is even beter than Maldonado in that aspect, showing great pace on a regular basis, just missing “you know what”.
      Let’s hope for the best for him next year, wouldn’t be surprise to see him close to Kimi if he sorts out his attraction to others.

    6. yes ,obviously super quick ,lucky for Kimi he made a few mistakes otherwise it would have looked just like Lewis and Fernando. I live in France . and they drive me mad calling him French ,when he wins a race ,and I am sure he will,if they play the French anthem only for a car made in England with a Swiss driver it will be a joke and an insult..

      1. I’ve never understood his nationality… Is he French or Swiss ? Not that it matters, but i keep hearing/reading contradicting facts…

  9. I think he deserves another chance. He has been extremely fast on occasion this year, sometimes a match for Raikkonen, and just needs to calm down a bit. In the same way that it’s easier to make a fast but unreliable car reliable than make a reliable but slow car fast, so the fast but erratic Grosjean can be a star.

  10. I don’t think Lotus waited this long to announce Grojean to make him sweat. I think they were crunching the numbers to see if they could afford to keep running if he crashes out at the same rate ;) lol

    I’m happy they kept him. He’s seriously fast. You can’t teach fast, but you can teach track awareness (the question is, can he learn?). Lotus should have a very strong team next year.

  11. I wouldn’t like to be in his place if he is as crash prone as last year.

  12. The timing of this decision is quite funny, to be honest :)

    Anyway, I’m very happy for him. Clearly he has the talent, I was genuinely impressed in some races, even if I’ve never doubted his speed.

  13. He clearly had the talent and the speed but whether he has the spacial awareness and concentration is a different matter. Both are a necessary requirement to compete at any level of motorsport, particularly F1 where the drivers are racing in very close confines. I have a feeling he has a fundamental lack of the second, which isn’t easily remedied.

    Perhaps I am wrong to criticise him though: Vettel was in a similar situation at the start of his F1 career – he was clearly very fast but wasn’t very good in wheel-to-wheel combat, and we’ve seen from this year that he has overcome that problem. Maybe given another year or two Grosjean can do the same? I certainly hope so.

    1. @vettel1

      Vettel was in a similar situation at the start of his F1 career –

      Now that you mention it, in the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, Seb crashed into Mark’s car which to led to Mark calling him “kids(sic) with not enough experience”. In the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix, Romain crashed into Mark’s car which led to Mark calling him a “nutcase”!
      So, if the legend of the “Curse of the Webber” is true, then Romain Grosjean- 3 time world champion by 2017 anybody? :)

      (The cause or reasons for the crashes in both the races is understandably not the same or similiar)

  14. I think his first consecutive season in F1 may just be what Romain needs. It should give him a substantial confidence boost and its going to be very interesting to see if both Lotus drivers can compete consistently with the RedBull/McLaren/Ferarri camps.

  15. Great: I hope he will raise up his game and silence the many critics he’s earned this year.
    Sadly, that means KK won’t get a Lotus seat…

  16. Well atleast casual viewers have the spectacular first lap crashes to look forward to next season.

  17. Total-ly unexpected :-)

  18. Kobayashi doesnt get a drive in 2013 but grosjean does? theres no doubt Grosjean has speed but he doesnt have the composure

  19. I think keeping Grosjean was probably the right call, However if he continues to make stupid mistakes when around other cars I would not be surprised to see him replaced.

    The worry for me is that he’s been driving the same way & Making the same silly errors for as long as i’ve been watching him race (Since Euro F3 in 2006) & he’s shown little sign of changing/improving in that time. He’s clearly got a ton of speed but if he can’t learn from his mistakes & show improvement then he may not be in F1 for long which given his potential would be a shame.

  20. Even though I’m french, I’m really disappointed to see that Grosjean will again drive for Lotus in 2013. Kamui Kobayashi would have been a much better choice.
    Grosjean is quick, but he is as immature as he was in 2009. The last 2012 races showed absolutely nothing that could mean that he will do better in 2013.
    He doesn’t need more experience, he already had a whole year (plus some races in 2009) to gain some. He needs lucidity and clairvoyance. He needs some neurones in his brain.

    To see Grosjean in the Lotus and Kobayashi nowhere makes me really sad…

    PS: sorry for my english, I keep trying :-)

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