HUNGARORING, July 24, 2014 (F1plus/Graham Kielloh).- Romain Grosjean has in recent weeks made no secret that he is keeping an open mind on whether to remain at Lotus at 2015 or to move elsewhere. There also are strong rumours that from next year Lotus is to be powered by Mercedes rather than Renault, with the French supplier having struggled this season.
Today in Hungary Grosjean hinted that getting a Mercedes power unit will form part of his assessment of where to go for next season.
“It’s quite easy to quantify the lap time difference if you change engine, it gives you much more you need to gain on the chassis side, so putting two and two together you can easily see what performance it’s going to be” he said.
When asked how long he was prepared to wait until the Lotus power unit supply for next year was confirmed Grosjean said: “As long as options are open”.
Grosjean was also asked whether his historic backing by Total, combined with Total being a partner of Renault, would make it difficult for him to move to a non-Renault team.
The Frenchman thought: “Not really because there are two Totals, there is Total Competition that puts the sticker on the car and there is Total company which is my sponsor, so I’m on the side of Total company and I believe that they will follow me wherever I go.”
When asked if he could retain this backing even at a Mercedes-powered team Grosjean insisted “Yes…They will probably try to; last year I was Tag Heuer ambassador driving a car with a Richard Mille sticker on it.”
But he also denied that Lotus has to do anything to ‘convince’ him to say where he is. “They don’t really have to convince me, I know what they are capable of doing, I know they have been doing a very good car in the past and I know the struggle we have now.
“I know the team is not going to do a season as this year next year for a fact, that they will react and they will get better. Even though it may not be as good as last year I’m sure it’s going to be a car (next year) capable of fighting for points much more often.”
Meanwhile his team mate Pastor Maldonado was glad that his own future was resolved to remain at Lotus for 2015. “It’s always good to know the future. It’s a great team. There are fantastic people working at the team and pushing very hard to improve the performance.”