Lotus boss says Grosjean’s 2014 seat not secure

Eric Boullier with Romain Grosjean

Eric Boullier with Romain Grosjean

Lotus could enter the 2014 Formula 1 season with an all-new driver lineup, as it has become known that Nico Hulkenberg is the leading candidate to join the Enstone based team next year, should lead driver Kimi Raikkonen switch to Red Bull.

Team owner Gerard Lopez, however, thinks the 2007 world champion will stay.

“We know that Red Bull is replacing the second driver next year, but I think that Kimi is no second driver,” he told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

One problem for Lotus could be money, with boss Eric Boullier admitting the team fell behind in paying Raikkonen recently.

“[Raikkonen's salary] was paid late, yes,” he told the BBC. “But it has been paid. We have to if we want to keep him.”

Even so, more than one driver is being linked with Lotus for 2014, including Williams‘ Pastor Maldonado and Force India’s Paul di Resta.

“Yes, I know the rumours,” Lopez said. “Lotus is a fascinating team, Kimi has not decided what to do, and maybe we will have a place open with [Romain Grosjean’s agreement running out.

“Romain has driven well but no one can know at this point whether we will have one place open, or two, or none at all,” he insisted.

Boullier also admitted that both Raikkonen and Frenchman Grosjean could depart.

“A lot of drivers are talking to us,” he told Formula 1’s official website, “so should the ‘white sheet’ situation occur I have a plan B but I will not share that now.” (GMM)

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  • MacStar227

    Having experienced not being paid at Sauber can Hulkenberg really consider Lotus?

  • Lol.

    @Macstar

    The difference is Lotus can give him a car capable of wins, and being paid late vs not being paid at all.

  • Max Smoot

    There’s been a lot of recent outside investment money flowing in to this team. With that comes an insistence on more consistency behind the wheel. If RAI leaves and GRO is not renewed then both HUL and DIR would be an excellent pairing.

  • oppolock

    Well keep in mind Kimi gets paid a lot more than any driver that would replace him. They can get HUL and DIR for one Kimi probably, so they can pay them. Its a tough choice, Lotus looks really good sometimes and they could be entering a period where they can win more often. But you’d have to put your pennies on Newey. I don’t think Vettel is better than Kimi, he has just had a better car, Kimi with honestly equal equipment will give him a run for his money. Look at the last race in Germany, Kimi was on his ass with the Lotus, if Kimi qualified 2nd in another RBR then he could have done anything.

  • F1fan

    I hope Maldonado can run to Lotus in 2014. He won a race, and he has a good sponsor.

  • the fan

    maldonado and grosjean in the same team? lotus could run out of chassis before the season is over lol!

  • Sunshine117

    What about the two Toro Rosso drivers? They should come into play somewhere. Unless…Vergne get’s Massa’s seat and Ricciardo gets Webber’s? But’s that’s not a certainty is it..

  • Stoner

    The most likely driver to replace Massa is Hulkenburg and Webber’s seat will be with Kimi, i see those to Torro Rosso Drivers remain in the same team