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Twelve months ago many were asking for the immediate dismissal of Romain Grosjean. They felt he wasn’t cut out for Formula 1 and that he was a danger to him and others on the circuit. Now it seems to have changed with Lotus F1 considering the future of the French driver.

In an AUTOSPORT article, team boss Eric Boullier offered a bit of an odd quote about the prospects for Grosjean in 2014:

“I don’t know. I need to get the written confirmation of my board and then we will see.

“Romain already has a contract with us for next year, but it is not a fixed contract. Lotus has to take the option or not. We have to do it in a few days’ time, so we will see.”

I seem to recall that quote from the Sky Sports F1 coverage interview. Nonetheless, Grosjean has redeemed himself in the eyes of many.

As for Adrian Sutil, he’s seems almost a little cagey about his aspirations for another year at Force India saying:

“It’s 50/50, it’s not that they decide what I’m allowed to do.

“I think I am in a strong position, I have done my job this year and you would have to find someone else who does the job like I do.

“If there is a better drive somewhere out there and they want him, fine take him and good luck.”

There’s been no announcement for Adrian or his teammate Paul di Resta yet but an additional year for Sutil would add to his Force India total. He drove for the team from 2007-2011 and came back this year with a handy performance.

What do you think about Grosjean and Sutil? Would you resign both drivers to their respective teams? Has Grosjean redeemed himself and has Sutil done enough for the team? Remember there are a lot of factors at play here. Sutil most likely has cash backing his position and while Lotus says they pay their drivers, I would imagine the temptation for a driver with cash might be able to dislodge Grosjean.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • @Filbo_

    Whilst Grosjean may be paid by Lotus, Total’s sponsorship of the team is closely aligned to Romain’s place in the team.

  • I think Grosjeans turnaround has been incredible, and he’s really starting to win my over as a fan.

    More importantly Todd I love how you always manage to find these pictures!

  • Rik

    I find it funny how as Kimi announced his leaving of team Lotus that his performance slumped dramatically. Has the team given their efforts to Grosjean and sacrificed Kimi like so many teams do with their out going drivers who leave the team?

  • tom

    Grosjean: Everybody knows that he has a lot of raw pace in him, so it all comes down to consistency. And he has delivered in the last couple of races, ever since the summer break. So unless Lotus is dependent on a pay driver (Maldonado?) his contract extension seems to be an obvious step to take. However, should Lotus indeed need a pay driver, the decision then becomes Hülkenberg or Grosjean, which is a tough one for Lotus. Grosjean is the known quantity for them and he knows the team and the car. So it will be a gamble anyway: Will they keep Grosjean and gamble on his form remaining steady, or do the take Hülkenberg and gamble on his ability to adapt to the new team quickly. Personally, I’d finally like to see Hülkenberg in a stronger car, but sticking with Grosjean might be the slightly safer bet for Lotus.
    BTW, the latest rumors are that Alonso will go to McLaren in 2015 at which time Hülkenberg would be the #1 candidate for Ferrari, given that he was almost signed for 2014, hadn’t Kimi come in between at the last moment. So given that prospect, that would be another reason for Lotus to choose Grosjean over Hülkenberg.

    Sutil: I think Sutil is a slightly underrated driver. He has never had a quick car, so it was difficult for him to shine, but one obvious indication of quality on the part of a driver is his performance in the wet, and that’s where Sutil has generally done really well. So I have to agree with Adrian there, Force India won’t be able to find a replacement for him that easily. The obvious one is the one I talked about above: Nico Hülkenberg. Word is that Force India doesn’t want two German drivers, so should Hülkenberg return, Sutil would be out, which is understandable as Hülkenberg seems to have more promise. But again, this would most likely only be a temporary solution as Hülkenberg is set to move to a bigger team eventually. So I guess Force India should stick with Sutil, who delivers, who still has some quality years in him and who brings some sponsor money to boot (not much, but still)…

    Which of course would leave Hülkenberg somewhat stranded. Unless Alonso eventually does step over the line and gets kicked out, Ferrari is set for 2014, McLaren haven’t announced what to do with Perez yet, but it would still be a long shot for Hülkenberg to get a seat there. Should Lotus need a pay driver, Hülkenberg wouldn’t have the best chances with that team either and with all the lower teams being undesirable as well as being dependent upon pay driver, his best chance may be to stick around with Sauber for another year and hope to score a major seat next year. But even that only works if the Russian money is sufficient and they can jettison the Mexican money. Otherwise he might find himself without a seat for 2014 and hence without a chance to make his case for a big team seat. We often hear about make or break seasons for certain drivers. In Hülkenberg’s case, this could really be his make or break silly season…

  • PeterFan

    There are more top notch drivers than there are top teams. Hulkenberg, Grosjan and Sutil are doing an incredible job. The seats at Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari are all taken. Checo is the only one who’s not performing to the expectations but I think he’ll get at least one more year to prove himself.
    McLaren have a solid youngster in the pipes(Kevin Magnussen). Might land directly in Checo’s seat if it goes cold.
    Lotus will hopefully confirm Grosjan and snatch Hulkenberg. I don’t see any top seats for Sutil.

  • F1kat

    RG was under pressure for all the laps in Japan GP, he lost to the strategy (may be pace) of Bulls.
    As a driver he had done what is possible, he put everything one the right place as asked by team on track.
    I beginning to think only RG+Lotus can make the coming GP’s interesting even in the front row.

  • Meine

    On the BBC they spoke to Romain about his new role as team leader.
    I do not expect Grossjean not to be resigned, that would be very stupid of Lotus. He always had speed, and he has matured as a driver. He is potential world-championship material.

    I’ve never really liked Sutil but I guess he is a good fit for Force India and a very decent driver.

    I also happen to think that next year could well be the last year for Fred at Ferrari. I also think that Ferrari already have a contract with Hülkenberg, so either Kimi or Fred will be gone after next year and the hulk is in no hurry to sign with another team, he can bide his time at Sauber.

  • Meine

    By the way, great picture of Romain admiring her necklace.

  • uan

    Grojean–he’s seriously fast and has some good results.

    Sutil–wow, can we get a more boring driver on the grid? PDR is doing a better job, and PDR is rightfully worried about keeping his seat.

    Here’s a line up for Force India – Hulkenberg for speed and racecraft, Maldonado for speed and money.

  • Steven M

    Id sign the one standing next to him…