It has heavily speculated in the paddock this morning that Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has emerged as a strong late-contender for the Haas team in 2016, amid ongoing uncertainty about the future of his current Lotus outfit.
Grosjean put in one of the best performances of his career at the Belgian Grand Prix a fortnight ago to deliver a surprise podium finish, and remind people of his speed.
And although he has previously made it clear that he would love to be a part of the new Renault team if it takes over Lotus, the ongoing delays in finalising that deal have left him pondering other options if this does not go through.
Within the paddock, it is be understood that with no guarantee the Renault takeover of Lotus will happen, Grosjean has been in negotiations with Haas about a switch there for 2016.
The Haas Team has been clear from the start that it wants experienced drivers on board when they enter the sport next season and Grosjean’s podium form and the fact that he is a current driver has left him as an obvious choice for the new American outfit.
However, there are other drivers pushing for a chance at Haas are Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez – although none of those have been racing this year but do have the much needed experience that the Haas F1 team are looking for.
If they did manage to sign Grosjean, it would be good for the team as he has a lot of experience under his belt; while also having the undoubted talent to lead the team and get the results when the car is competitive enough to fight at the front of the grid. I think many people would be surprised if Grosjean left Lotus, but if the deal doesn’t go through, this might be the only option he has to stay in F1 and he needs to stay.
With the Haas F1 Team Principal Gunther Steiner stating to the media recently that they want to have one of their drivers signed this month; even though they are not rushing it and taking their time. But at this moment in time, Haas have a selection of talented, experienced and capable drivers that would be welcome additions when they enter the sport next season. But which one will they choose?
If I had to put money on it today, I would say that Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne are the favourites to land both of the seats as both have experience driving in the sport and also both are employed by Ferrari as well which will help them and also the team get to grips with running the Ferrari engine as well.
But only time will tell if my prediction will be correct or not, but I’d love to know what you all think about the situation?