SILVERSTONE, 3rd July 2014 (F1 Plus / Graham Keilloh) - Romain Grosjean today was keeping options open for his future amid recent speculation that he could move from Lotus to another team for next season.
There has been particularly strong speculation that Grosjean may be of interest to McLaren to fill a 2015 seat at Woking, particularly given his close relationship with its racing director, ex of Lotus, Eric Boullier.
‘You always think about your future’ said Grosjean, ‘and I’ve been here (Lotus) for a little bit and I know the team very well, but I want to win races as well. Things are open, but it’s not because Eric is there, things aren’t that simple.’
Grosjean was also sanguine about any potential risk of joining a team such as McLaren with a new power unit supplier for next year in Honda.
‘You tend to think the grass of the neighbours is greener than yours, sometimes it is sometimes it is not so every change is a risk. You change the engine there is a risk, you change the staff there is a risk…but we take risk every day when we’re in the car so it’s part of the job.’
The Frenchman also did not rule out a mooted Ferrari switch, ‘Yeah, why not?’ he said. And on his previous experience of partnering Fernando Alonso at Renault in 2009 he said: ‘It was a very different stage, I was very young and had no experience in Formula One. Today things would be different and I get on very well with him, so it wouldn’t be a problem on my side.’
Grosjean confirmed also that not repeating the competitive form of late last season is a frustration: ‘I miss fighting for podiums and miss drinking champagne on Sunday afternoons.’
In response to speculation about Lotus itself switching from Renault power units to Mercedes for next season, Romain joked: ‘To be fair I’d love to be in a Merc car, it looks really nice to drive.
‘But no, I think everyone is trying to get the best as you can from what you can see, teams are looking at the best options, engine to engine, drivers are looking for the best car to drive. It is what it is in sport, you always want the best of everything.’
He denied however that Lotus no longer being supplied by Renault would compromise his own position in the team, given his historic relationship with the French company: ‘In total the relationship is more than just having a sticker or something like that. I think we still keep going together…Without them I could not have made it to GP2 or even Formula Three so it’s an important part of my career’.
He also hinted that a Merc power unit switch may convince him to remain at Lotus: ‘It could be, but as I say it’s early stage. What I really want now is to win my first Grand Prix of course, and why not try to become world champion?’
Grosjean noted also that the power unit is not Lotus’s only problem right now, although it is an impediment compared with rival units: ‘I think the car isn’t as good as last year, that’s no lie. And of course we are struggling with a lack of power from the engine which can explain a little bit of the loss of performance…I think the car hasn’t been as good as last year but it’s not as bad as it looks.’