Lotus have confirmed that Romain Grosjean will partner Kimi Raikkonen again in 2013
Frenchman aiming for stronger and more consistent performances
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 28/12/12 9:10am
Lotus have confirmed that Romain Grosjean will partner Kimi Raikkonen once again next season.
The announcement came 24 hours after the 26-year-old Frenchman rounded off what has been an at-times difficult 2012 with victory in the Race of Champions in Bangkok.
"It's fantastic for me to be continuing with Lotus F1 Team for 2013," Grosjean said. "It's superb to have the support of everyone at Enstone. I'm really looking forward to rewarding their faith when we take to the track in Australia.
"I learnt a lot in my first full season in Formula 1 and my aim is to put these lessons into practice with stronger and more consistent performance on track next year."
Contesting his first full F1 season, Grosjean finished eighth in the Drivers' Championship this year and scored podium finishes in Bahrain, Canada and Hungary.
However, his pace was blighted by a number of crashes. Matters came to a head at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in September when, having caused a pile-up at the first corner that took out a number of cars, including title challengers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, Grosjean was handed a one-race ban.
Missing the Italian Grand Prix as a result, he returned to the cockpit in Singapore. But another first-corner collision, this time with Red Bull's Mark Webber at the Japanese Grand Prix, led the Australian to brand Grosjean a "first-lap nutcase".
Lotus clearly hope that he will temper his exuberance next season as they seek to build upon what has, in general, been a very positive 2012 season.
"Romain is a great talent and we are pleased that he is continuing with us for a second season," said Team Principal Eric Boullier, who also serves as Chief Executive of Gravity Sport Management, the company that manages Grosjean.
"With the continuity of two exceptional drivers like Romain and Kimi we are well placed to build on our strong 2012 with even better results in the year ahead.
"Both drivers worked very well together in their first year as team-mates, and I think there is the potential of even better things from the season ahead. We were regular visitors to podiums in 2012 and we certainly intend to continue with this trend in 2013."
Raikkonen, who returned to F1 this year after a two-year hiatus, finished third in the Drivers' Championship and also won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Finn, World Champion in 2007, was himself confirmed for another season in October. Since then, Lotus have also signed a major new sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola's Burn energy drink brand.