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Grosjean Joins New Look Lotus for 2012

New name and new drivers for next season

Posted Dec 13, 2011 by Chris White

Grosjean in GP2 action this year at Monza

Romain Grosjean will join Kimi Raikkonen in the new-look Lotus team for the 2012 season, with the former Renault driver becoming the final piece in the project for the former Renault squad.

Grosjean was dropped from the Renault squad after failing to impress back in 2009, and returned to the feeder series, GP2, which he won this season, prompting team owner Gerard Lopez to move for the Swiss driver.

The 25-year old said at the announcement that “There is a big grin on my face at the prospect of getting behind the wheel of the Lotus next year. To be racing alongside a former World Champion, and someone else who is hungry and returning to Formula One, will be a great experience. I’m sure it will help raise the level of my performance too,” he said.

The move leaves Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna, the two drivers at the end of 2011, looking for a new team for the 2012 season, but team owner Lopez said “Grosjean will help us to achieve our aims of getting back to the very top.”

Lotus had been expected to welcome back Robert Kubica to the team for the 2012 season after his horrific rallying accident, but the Polish driver has failed to prove he has recovered sufficiently enough to take his place behind the wheel in time for the start of the new season, prompting the team to move for full-time replacements.

Eric Boullier, the team principal, said, “We have been waiting for Robert to understand his plans. We would like to sit down with him and his manager to see what can be done to get him back in F1. If we can, we will, but we have signed our drivers for next year and we want to stick with our drivers.”

Lotus experimented with a number of drivers at various stages of the 2011 season and the team is understandably looking for some stability. With Grosjean, it is a bit of a homecoming, with him saying “I am a more complete driver than I was last time I was in the sport, and returning to Renault’s base as a race driver feels like coming home, and I’m determined not to disappoint.”

What do you make of the decision to select Grosjean? Are Lotus sticking with the drivers they know for stability, or really pushing for improvement? Tell us what you think here, on Twitter @ImagineF1 and on Facebook by clicking here.

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