Boullier: Grosjean will be with us next year and for a long time beyond
5 September, 2012
Sep.5 (GMM) Romain Grosjean’s one race ban for causing the Spa Turn 1 collision – the first in Formula 1 for almost two decades – has not damaged the Frenchman’s relationship with Lotus, nor his comeback to the sport.
Boullier’s other Gravity-managed driver, Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio, is sitting in for Grosjean this weekend, prompting speculation that the usually-happy Frenchman could lose momentum and – as he did at the end of 2009, and once again slide off the grid.
Asked if Grosjean will definitely be on the Singapore grid, Boullier told RMC Sport: “Of course.”
And 2013? “He has a one-year contract as well as a long-term renewable contract. He will be with us next year and for a long time beyond,” stated Boullier.
Boullier also revealed that Grosjean has sat down for a team meeting to discuss his race ban, which according to speculation was applied because the FIA ran out of patience following a sequence of incidents for the Swiss-born driver this year.
“It (the meeting) was neither severe nor relaxed,” said Boullier.
Asked if Lotus will add its own penalties to Grosjean’s official FIA sanction, he insisted: “Not at all.”
Rather, Boullier said Lotus will try to help Grosjean.
“This is an important point that has been raised with Romain. In Formula One, there is a very high level of stress, especially in qualifying and the start.
“I would say that when you have your second chance in F1, there is more pressure. We put a structure in place last winter and now we might have to renew it.”
Part of that structure might be to relegate Grosjean to a ‘number 2′ role for the rest of 2012, given the fact that Kimi Raikkonen is the Lotus driver most likely to challenge for the title.
“No,” said Boullier. “But we will do everything to avoid penalising Kimi, who is likely to be fighting for the championship.”
Subbed by AJN.