Could Lotus, Romain or Nico be forgotten?

Reflecting on the 2014 season and looking ahead to 2015, I was reminded today of three distinct issues in which two are tied together and one is perplexing in its own right.

Reading an article over at AUTOSPORT reminded me that Romain Grosjean had, by all accounts, a miserable year in 2014 and he reminded the magazine that team bosses shouldn’t overlook him as a potential driver for their program.

“But people forget what I was capable of towards the end of last year when I was beating Kimi [Raikkonen] and he was in good shape – he liked the car and it suited him well.

“That showed what I was capable of.”

“If I keep driving as well as I can and beat my team-mate, then hopefully for 2016 I can be in a race-winning car,” he said.

Romain’s 2013 turnaround was one of magic and pixie dust coupled with smart mentoring by then-boss Eric Boullier and a sports psychologist who taught the Frenchman patience which translated into race craft almost instantly like simply adding water to a delicious and nutritional glass of Tang.

Grosjean should be on a few radars on merit alone but it now seems that the FIA’s new provisional entry list has added an asterisk which the legend says “*subject to confirmation”. Some have taken that to mean that the team could be on its way out of F1 over finance issues just like Caterham and Marussia before it.

If, and that’s an “if”, that is the case, Grosjean’s commentary today may be a serious cry for help if he feels the ship is sinking and he’s not one the rearrange the deck chairs in the meantime either. My possible recommendation is Haas F1 Team in which they will most likely be looking for a veteran to help them get their sea legs in F1 in 2016.

Could Grosjean be lost to ages in F1? If Lotus is a no-show—which I find hard to understand as they have announced their drivers and new engine supplier for 2015—then Grosjean might be looking at a one-year sabbatical for 2015.

It also had me considering the fate of Nico Hulkenberg and while he has a ride at Force India in 2015, he is another driver who has been passed over too many times to make sense given his on-track performances. There must be something teams are leery of in this German and it confounds me still. The closest thing we had to a reason was McLaren’s then-boss Martin Whitmarsh who said he was too tall.

With a raft of teens and tweens entering the world’s most advanced form of motorsport, it ponders the mind that Grosjean and Hulkenberg may not be long for the F1 world and even Nico announced he’d be partaking in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year…a sign of building a future outside F1? He may have to get into a bar fight with Adrian Sutil who is seeking a WEC ride for 2015 given his F1 days seem to be at an end after seven years of toil.


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