In an interview with ESPN F1 today, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean is keen for a Renault takeover of Lotus and believes the team is currently operating below its potential because of a lack of investment.
Renault is considering a return to being a works team in the sport and is in advanced talks with Lotus about a possible deal. As one of Lotus current drivers and a Renault-backed driver in the past, Grosjean says in his interview with ESPN F1 today that he would welcome the move even though it would mean switching from the dominant Mercedes power unit to the underpowered Renault. Grosjean stated the following:-
‘It’s always nice to be part of a constructor team and I’m sure Renault is going to improve its engine. For sure now Mercedes is the best one on the grid, but next year is a long way away in Formula One.’
Further on in his interview with ESPN F1 today, Grosjean believes the Enstone-based team has a lot of potential to develop its car but has been held back by a lack of investment. Grosjean added the following:-
‘The development hasn’t been as good as we wanted [this year], but it’s not down to people or brainpower because we have a lot of good ideas in the pipeline. The CFD, windtunnel and design office is working very well, but at the moment we can’t bring it on track. On the other hand, when you are thinking about selling the team you will not put continue to put money in at one stage because afterwards it’s all lost.
‘It’s just a bit of a waiting situation and hopefully soon we will know more and we can move ahead, because from day one the baseline was good [on the current car] and a huge step forward from last year. That shows we know how to understand problems and to put them on paper, but after that it was clear that we needed to move forward and put some performance on the car, but we couldn’t achieve that [because of a lack of investment].’
As Grosjean has stated in his interview today, it is clear that they have the personnel needed to be competitive on the track but they don’t have the money to do development work on achieving that goal as they would lie. I agree with Grosjean that all he and the Lotus team can do is wait and see what happens in the talks that are ongoing with Renault at the moment and see what the next step will be.
But he is happy with how they have developed from last season and have learnt their lessons as a result of this; which has translated into points finishes throughout the first half of the season. But he knows that if the team can get more investment from either of their partners currently in the team or if Renault decide to buy the team; this will only help their cause to ultimately win in the sport.
However, Lotus have signed a multi-year deal with Mercedes and it is clear that this has worked out for them on the track. If they was to be bought out by Renault, we could see some legal action being taken from Mercedes to seek compensation for breaching the contract or even to be bought out of the contract.
With the Lotus team still in talks with Renault at the moment; all the team and Grosjean can do is wait and see what happens from this and whether they get the investment that they need in order to challenge the best teams on the grid for the Formula One Championships. And for me, I do hope that they achieve that; either with Renault buyout or not.