Romain Grosjean is set to remain at Lotus for a third season as team principal Eric Boullier said he is close to confirming his deal for next year.
“Romain has a contract signed anyway for next year,” said Boullier. “It?óÔé¼Ôäós just, say, a matter of confirmation. We are being prudent after last obviously. But I think it?óÔé¼Ôäós on its way to be confirmed soon.”
Boullier said the team were “definitely pleased with his performance, since Germany actually”.
“Clearly, something switched on and he is working better. I mean the same tyre story as well, the latest spec of tyres suit a little bit more his driving style than [Kimi Raikkonen’s] one.
“But yes, we are pleased that he is stepping up. We don?óÔé¼Ôäót have a policy of driver number one and number two but we needed him obviously to step up, yes.”
Boullier added he hopes to have the identity of Grosjean’s team mate confirmed within “a few days”. Last year’s GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi is the team’s reserve driver but Boullier said he preferred to put an experienced driver in the seat.
“Davide is on the list but to bring to the grid next year a driver with no experience is a huge step for them – I?óÔé¼Ôäóve done it twice with them, first with [Vitaly] Petrov and then with a semi-rookie Grosjean and I think I?óÔé¼Ôäóve had enough to be honest with you.
“Davide is on the list because we consider him as a good driver, as a GP2 champion but it?óÔé¼Ôäós true that if you favour a scenario for next year it will be a driver with experience. If we cannot find any driver with experience, fitting the strategy of the team, obviously we will go for a rookie driver and then Davide is obviously on the top of the list. It looks harsh, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm sorry but it?óÔé¼Ôäós true.”
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Image ?é?® Lotus/LAT