Could Grosjean replace Raikkonen?

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When you think of Lotus F1 in 2014, can you envision Romain Grosjean as the team leader? The man to take Kimi Raikkonen’s place? His improved form over the course of 2013 has certainly helped him in his quest to remain a Lotus driver but is he team-leader material? Lotus F1 man, Alan Permane reckons so:

“I don’t see why not, quite honestly,” Alan said. “Obviously it depends who he has as his team-mate, a strong character or who it is. But I don’t see why not.

“Now’s his chance – and he looks to be taking it, which is really good to see.”

The key, most certainly, will be who Raikkonen’s replacement will be and if that driver brings a lot of Formula 1 experience with him.Many suggest that the driver in question could be none other than Nico Hulkenberg and if that is the case, Grosjean will have his work cut out for him. Hulkenberg is no stranger to hustling a F1 car or even helping develop a car.

For Grosjean, he actually no stranger to F1 as well. His 39 race starts to Hulkenberg’s 52 is not a large delta but it does come down to performance, leadership and the ability to work with the engineers to develop the car. Depending on who the team bring in to replace Kimi will determine a lot about Grosjean’s future at the team.

Lotus F1 made a lot of noise a few years ago about not needing or wanting to succumb to the paying-driver scenario and they were proud that they were using drivers that were not bringing large amounts of cash to the team but with the recent financial issues, the team could see themselves searching for a driver with a large wallet and that might exclude Hulkenberg.

Should they opt for paying driver, it will most likely come in the form of a young person and this would play well with Grosjean’s role as team leader. Either way, Grosjean has an opportunity to make the team his own and whoever the team decides to hire, Romain will have his feet on the desk…what he does from there will most likely determine his fate at the team and possibly Formula 1 as a whole.

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