Formula 1

Lotus in fight to keep hold of Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean could be set to leave Lotus, as team owner Gerard Lopez revealed there is sufficient interest in the driver from other Formula One teams, according to the Daily Mail.

Grosjean took his time to adapt to Formula One, becoming known for his erratic driving style and gaining a bad reputation in his early years due to the number of crashes he was involved in. But the 28-year-old has now matured into the driver he always had the potential to become. Grosjean has always displayed natural speed and by eradicating the mistakes from his racing has caught the eye of many teams on the gird. 

Speaking to the Press Association, Lopez said: "We don't have the budget of some of the other teams, so there is a point up until which we will fight. But Romain is really happy here, he is part of the family, and I don't think he is planning on going anywhere."

Lopez admitted that teams have been returning to find out the future plans of the Frenchman.

"His drives last year meant there were a couple of teams knocking on the door to find out what he was doing, and now we've the same this year.

"I'm not saying Romain is going [to leave], but what I am saying is that here is a driver who was criticised, and now suddenly people are saying he is a driver who could pretty much drive for any team."

It is a turnaround in a driver's fortunes which Lopez says he hopes can work the same for Pastor Maldonado, who is currently facing strong criticism for his racing ability after some high profile accidents, most notably the flipping of Esteban Gutierrez at the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this season. 

"We will take a long-term view on things, so we're not particularly worried. We'll get the best out of Pastor," said Lopez. 

"We think we can do the same with him, as we did with Romain, to ensure he is at his best every race weekend, and consistently throughout the weekend. I have a lot of faith in him."

Lotus have endured a tough start to the 2014 Formula One season after their competitive campaign last year where they achieved fourth in the constructors' standings and also a race victory. With finances not in the strongest position, number one driver Kimi Raikkonen left to join Ferrari which was followed by the arrival of the well-supported Pastor Maldonado from the Williams team.

The Lotus car has not been as fast as they may have hoped with the new regulations brought in for 2014. However Grosjean was able to score the strongest result of the season so far for the team with eighth-place in Spain. Grosjean's qualifying pace, putting himself ahead of both Ferrari's also delivered promise.

Maldonado also found himself top of the combined test time sheets for the midweek tests in Spain after the race last week (albeit on the supersoft option tyre) and the pair will be looking to take those positives with them into Monaco, a circuit which Maldonado has excelled at in the junior motorsport categories.The Venezuelan has two victories in the GP2 series in Monaco amongst other podiums, as well as a win in the Formula Renault 3.5 category 

Lotus currently find themselves eighth in the constructors' title but will be looking for points this weekend to help them climb to a stronger position as soon as possible. 

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