Lotus: Grosjean a wanted man

Tuesday 20-May-2014 12:41

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez believes the Enstone team will struggle to keep Romain Grosjean past this season.

Grosjean endured a difficult 2012 season, during which he was involved in several crashes, which ultimately led to him serving a one-race ban.

Since then, though, the Frenchman has been much more circumspect without losing the natural pace he has always had.

He has also risen to the challenge of being the team's lead driver this season after Kimi Raikkonen's departure for Ferrari.

Speaking to before this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, Lopez admitted that, in all likelihood, he will face as fight to keep Grosjean's suitors at bay.

"We don't have the budget of some of the other teams, so there is a point up until which we will fight," Lopez told Sportinglife.

"But Romain is really happy here, he is part of the family, and I don't think he is planning on going anywhere.

"His drives last year meant there were a couple of teams knocking on the door to find out what he was doing, and now we've the same this year.

"I'm not saying Romain is going, but what I am saying is that here is a driver who was criticised, and now suddenly people are saying he is a driver who could pretty much drive for any team."

Lopez added that he sees a lot of similarities between Grosjean and his Lotus team-mate Pastor Maldonado, who is renowned for his indifferent performances and temper tantrums.

"It's a case of working with him to make sure he is comfortable," added Lopez.

"He had an easy weekend (in Spain) until qualifying, and he would easily have been in Q3.

"When I say 'easy', he pushed but didn't really have to push until he probably decided he had to push more in qualifying when it probably wasn't required.

"He's a driver who needs to understand that in certain circumstances, with his speed, then 95, 96, 97 per cent should get him to where he wants to be, and then once in Q3 give it 100, 105.

"We've lived partially the same thing with Romain, and people wrote him off, but now, as I say, we've people knocking on our door to see if he can be in their team.

"We will take a long-term view on things, so we're not particularly worried. We'll get the best out of Pastor.

"We think we can do the same with him, as we did with Romain, to ensure he is at his best every race weekend, and consistently throughout the weekend. I have a lot of faith in him."

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