Grosjean “on a three race rolling contract”

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    May I point out here, everyone, that Valtteri Bottas on the other hand, has finished every race this year so far.


    I dont get Grosjean, he was really impressive in his years out from F1, had a good half season back then returned to his 2009 form. I wonder if the pressure of a top teammate gets to him?

    R.J. O’Connell

    @electrolite Hashtag Bottas may be in a junk chassis this year and has 0 points to show for finishing his first six races, but there’s no way Williams ships him off to another team this early in his career


    Eddie Jordan might be right, but he’s wrong an awful lot as well. Even if Grosjean is on a 3 race rolling contract, I don’t think he’s likely to be replaced.

    First of all, look at how d’Ambrosio did at Monza last year. Stepping in during mid-season is harder than ever. A front-running GP2 driver might not want to switch, fearing for their championship hopes. A front-running FR3.5 might be interested, but I don’t think any of them would prefer a season of being shamed by Kimi to winning the FR3.5 series, which has brought a massive spotlight to Frijns and boosted Bianchi last season.

    Grosjean might have had trouble with his first chassis, some bad luck in Spain and a dismal weekend in Monaco, I do think he is massively talented. He needs to find a good coach of some sort. While I love Kimi, I would imagine he’s a terrible teammate for a younger driver such as Grosjean. He basically needs a former driver, someone like DC perhaps, to work out the kinks in his head. DC was quick in 1995, but there are more ‘DC crashes out of the lead 1995’ clips on YouTube than positive ones. He got his act together, though and while DC probably wasn’t as talented as Grosjean is, I think he would benefit from someone with experience and is known to be under pressure.

    As far as Bottas goes, I agree with @rjoconnell, Williams will probably not let him go. Let’s not forget, Enstone posted a net loss last year, Frank and his team are known to prefer loyal drivers (just don’t mention Jenson Button) and would probably either not let him go, or have a massive buy-out sum which Enstone can’t afford.


    Grosjean is a nice guy and all but how many chances are Lotus willing to give him. 4 times in one weekend is pretty bad considering rookies Bottas and Gutierrez made no mistakes.

    I’d personally get rid of him now. Mercedes are quickly catching up to Lotus and the difference between 3rd and 4th in the constructors could cost Lotus quiet a bit of money.

    Of course replacements are limited. Valsecchi and d’Ambrosio have had zero testing, Kobayashi and Glock are racing somewhere else. The Gp2 drivers will more than likely be a step back so who does that leave?


    He’s been testing with Caterham and he can’t be worse than Grosjean. Kovalainen is slightly overrated in my eyes but I think he’d be the perfect number two for Lotus. Gets on well with Kimi and has enough talent to deliver consistent points whilst not getting in Kimis way.

    Anssi Lehtinen

    As much as I would love to see Kovalainen or Bottas in the same team with Kimi, it is quite unlikely to happen. One Finn in a team is ok if he is fast or special enough to get sponsor money from outside of Finland, but sadly Heikki does not bring any sponsor money and Bottas may find that his Finnish sponsors (*) do not have deep enough pockets for him to stay in F1 for long without him getting better results. And Lotus seems to need money even more than a fast and consistent driver, would not be surprised to see Kimi driving in another team next year (or leaving F1 again) if Lotus runs out of money.

    (*) There is a good reason for Nico Rosberg being on the podium under German flag instead of Finnish one like his father.


    Grosjean should be given until the summer break. Knee-jerk reactions won’t help them at this point. This is one race that went very wrong for him on more than one occasion, but before this he hadn’t done much wrong to my memory. In Spain, he had a mechanical failure, the rest he scored points, including one podium. Lotus haven’t got the biggest of budgets and they can’t afford to have him crashing multiple times in a weekend again.
    As for possible replacements, I don’t see Valsecchi being much better than d’Ambrosio last year if he is drafted in. Perhaps for the short-term, Kovalainen would be a decent replacement. He would probably get the team good points without Grosjean-like incidents. Top GP2/FR3.5 drivers would probably wish to see their seasons out, and having Felipe Nasr on the grid would be very confusing!


    I wasn’t suggesting that Bottas would jump ship to Lotus – I was moreso alluding to what @magnificent-geoffrey was saying about young drivers needing more testing experience. Bottas proves that you can stay out of trouble!

    Valsecchi? I really don’t see him bringing home even small points – this is Lotus we’re talking about, who have one of the best (if not the best, in race trim) cars in the field. You need someone to really earn that I think. If Grosjean was dropped, it can’t just be another Bruna Senna or Vitaly Petrov. Kovalainen would be a good shout.

    Aish Heydrich

    Our firm had access to Lotus F1 financials last year and this year as well, for being auditors of the outfit, their future is very bleak, last year it was a loss of 56.7 million pounds, and this year it’ll be more as R&D expenses are already higher than last year for them and it’ll be even higher next year. We brought this up in the Audit Committee meeting.
    Secondly, since we are just auditors and we dn’t tell them how to manage team we couldn’t say the Grosjean is loss-unit. His expenses far outweigh the Total sponsorship money that the team gets, and I’ll share a funny thing with you all. You can forget about Grosjean getting replaced, Lotus won’t do that, they have receivables from Total pending. And that’s critical.
    Also, they’re spending a LOT on Publicity and Advertisements, it’s a good 15% of their revenue. They just gota video made by Daft Punk and they paid a sizeable amount to some hotshot director named Jonas Akerlund for it. Apparently he is a big guy who directed videos for Madonna, Metallica and Rammstein. All these artists have ten times higher budget than Lotus, I can vouch for that.
    The financials of Lotus actually suggest a liquidation is on the cards next year or in 15, max. I just hope Kimi moves to a better team and still races in F1.

    Aish Heydrich

    Oh, and good thread, OP. Good posts here.


    I hope he stays… or they bring in Narain Karthikeyan/Chantok…. need some INDIANS!!! lol honestly I think they should Let RG keep going… maybe just talk to him about going a bit easier? I dunno… it must be hard to tell an F1 driver to dial it back down

    Antonio Nartea

    Grosjean’s not going anywhere this season, I can bet. With Allison gone, Red Bull trying to lure Raikkonen, their financial issues and with 2014 in sight, Lotus have much bigger problems than Grosjean right now.

    Plus, these drivers are not there just because of who they are behind the wheel. As someone pointed out, kicking Grosjean from the team would mean the money from Total are gone and I’m sure Renault won’t be too extatic about it either. Lotus won’t risk that, unless Grosjean does something absolutely insane to push Boullier’s patience beyond the limit or Total get fed up with him first, which they won’t.

    And even if sacking Grosjean was on the table at Lotus HQ, who could replace him? Valsecchi has spent close to 0 time in an F1 car, during an race weekend, D’Ambrosio and Prost are far too slow to be a replacement for even an erratic Grosjean, Frinjs is too inexperienced to drive an F1 car, Kubica is not fit to drive one, Bottas is under contract with Williams and they won’t be bothered to sell him cheap just now, the whole GP2 field (except for Frinjs and Coletti) is a disaster, Kobayashi, Senna and Glock are gone for good, Petrov would be a pointless decision.

    In my view, they have four options, and all are worse than firing Grosjean (at the moment, at least): bring Felipe Nasr in (and by that I mean “bring his brazilian sponsors in”) or call up Kovalainen or someone from the Rebellion endurance squad: Heidfeld (lol!) or Buemi on a short-term contract.

    Grosjean’s staying for the whole season. And 2014 it’s Valsecchi or Nasr in that seat. That’s my prediction.

    Craig Woollard

    I assume Lotus are desperate to finish at least 3rd this season given the bleak financial situation, and getting rid of a driver for an unknown quantity will certainly not help. Remember Grosjean had the upper hand on Kimi at Malaysia, and was unlucky in Spain. One disastrous weekend will happen for some drivers, but we now head to Canada, where Grosjean finished 2nd last year, clearly a track he runs well at.


    I doubt it will happen, but I’d love to see Frijns take up the seat. He has taken to every car he’s driven so quickly, and although it’s tough for a rookie to get to grips with F1, I think that he could be one of the few who could do it.

    Nevertheless, Grosjean did have a terrible weekend, but wasn’t doing too badly up until that point. Unless this has shaken his confidence again, then he’ll probably stay until the end of the season at least. If it has put his mind back in a dark place, then Lotus may as well take a risk by hiring a driver like Frijns, paying a minimal amount for him and hoping he is as good as Bianchi has been.


    @aish is any of the information in your post confidential? Because if it is, you might have an issue with your employer and client. Even if not, I can’t imagine they’d be happy with an employee publicly speculating on the financial health of a client. I’m not trying to have a go at you, just concerned at your employment prospects :-)

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