Romain Grosjean has stated that he is ready to lead Lotus next season should Kimi Raikkonen leave the outfit, but would prefer the 2007 World Champion to remain with the Enstone-based outfit. Since Mark Webber confirmed he will depart from Red Bull at the end of the season, Raikkonen has been strongly linked with a move to Red Bull.
However, during the summer break the Finn’s manager stated that negotiations with Red Bull had ended, potentially leaving the door wide open for Daniel Ricciardo to complete the Vettel-like graduation from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. With Kimi Raikkonen’s link to Red Bull still a recurring factor within the paddock despite the recent rumours, the Finn has since been linked elsewhere within the paddock including what would be a surprise return to Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso. Either way it seems the former World Champion is keen to leave Lotus, which would potentially leave Romain Grosjean as the Enstone-based outfit’s leading driver.
“Well, I always say that losing Kimi would be a loss for the team, he’s very good, he’s a World Champion, it’s good to have him as a team-mate.” Explained Romain Grosjean, “We push each other to the limit but if he leaves then we still have to do the job and to try to win races and score a lot of points. So at the moment I think we have a good way of working together but yeah, if he leaves then I would be more than happy to get the deal and try to keep Lotus where it is or still improve.”
Although Romain Grosjean seems intent of remaining at Lotus and potentially leading the outfit next season if and when Kimi Raikkonen leaves, the Frenchman himself is still without a confirmed contract for 2014. Although he has seemingly improved his performance in comparison to last season, Grosjean still sits 85 points shy of Kimi Raikkonen.
With many drivers including Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg linked to Lotus in recent months, the Enstone-based outfit could well opt for an all different line-up. However, Romain Grosjean has unquestionably improved in recent races, and will be striving to maintain his momentum from Germany and Hungary during the second half of the season.
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