Romain Grosjean’s close relationship with Eric Boullier could lead to the Frenchman leaving Lotus and join his countryman at the McLaren team as soon as 2015.
When Boullier left his role as team principal of Lotus at the end of the 2013 Formula 1 season and joined McLaren, doubts arose regarding the driver he signed for the team in 2012, and stood by during all his on-track issues that year.
With so much off-track doubts surrounding Lotus, including delays in paying employees including its drivers, there is a possibility that Grosjean could link-up with Boullier again in 2015 in some capacity. McLaren have a few choices for its drivers – Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne are already there this year – but Grosjean could offer something different.
The Frenchman had a breakthrough year in 2013, and was the only driver to regularly trouble the Red Bull Racing/Sebastian Vettel domination at the end of the year. He claimed six podium finishes, including a second place in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, and five third places in Bahrain, Germany, Korea, Japan and India.
Boullier was part of Gravity Sport Management who manage Grosjean’s career, but Gerard Lopez, the chief of Lotus team owner Genii Capital and the successor to Boullier at Gravity, believes Grosjean will be at Lotus for the long term.
“It is us who brought Romain from GP2, and his career was launched by Jean-Paul Driot, who is a friend and a partner,” said Lopez.
“Then the choice of the lineup for F1 was done with Eric Boullier, but it’s still us who decided. And Gravity is 100% ours.
“For me, Romain is one of the best drivers in F1 today, and I think we will soon be able to announce something for the very long term.”
If the car Lotus give Grosjean is not as good as the one they gave him in 2013, there is a big possibility that the Frenchman could walk away from Lotus at the end of the 2014 season, especially if the financial issues that have been around the team do not go away.
Grosjean and new team-mate Pastor Maldonado will hope to run in the new Lotus in the upcoming pre-season test in Bahrain after Lotus decided to miss the first test.