While Kimi Raikkonen re-kindles his Ferrari romance in Maranello, some thought has to be given to the team he left. Did he leave due to the lack of paychecks? Probably but the fact that James Allison left and the team was being poached heavily—that’s usually a sign that the folks made themselves poachable in the first place—is most likely the reason it is no shock that the world champion left.
A few months on and we see the team boss, Eric Boullier, leave as well so things are looking sour at Lotus F1 these days. Even their, presumably, 20-something fueled Twitter account isn’t tweeting pictures of rabbits mating or the cute quips that scream a voice of youthful exuberance. There is a place and time for that right?
So is there life after Kimi? I suspect there is and if four podium finishes out of the last six races is any indication, Romain Grosjean may be asking who this “Kimi” character is anyway.
Ultimately it will come down to money and the car but I doubt the team will suffer from driver aptitude or motivation. Grosjean is rising to his game and seeing the future he always believed he had in Formula 1. He teams with a man named Maldonado who is bringing cash so Grosjean can run.
Remaining realistic about how competitive the car can be given Renault Sport F1’s engine and ERS issues in Jerez and the lack of development funds for the 2014 season, the money issues will most likely be the bane of Grosjean’s existence at Lotus F1. Like German Nico Hulkenberg, many may be left asking why this young man isn’t moving to a better-financed team.
What do you think? Can Lotus F1 compete in 2014 like they have in the past? The loss of engineering wonks and Kimi Raikkonen surely sting and the departure of the man who mentored Grosjean back to health from his near-expulsion year in 2012 has pushed off to McLaren. So where does this leave Lotus F1 realistically?